Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Lingfeng Wang

Committee Members

Chiu Tai Law, Wei Wei


Reliability Evaluation, Water-Energy Nexus


Nowadays, with the development of science and technologies, our modern society is more and more dependent on the reliable performance of the critical infrastructures. Both water systems and power systems are national critical infrastructure supporting our daily life and the development of economic growth. These two types of systems are highly interconnected and complex networks, which consist of various system elements. Similarly, the core function of water and power system is to deliver satisfactory quality water and power to consumers, and at the same time it should satisfy all the demands at all load points. The reliable performance of these critical infrastructure is becoming more and more important. Therefore, it is very urgent to develop a comprehensive reliability evaluation algorithm to quantify the reliability of these critical systems.

When it comes to quantitatively assessing reliability of the facility infrastructure, there is a need to develop a comprehensive method to consider a comprehensive set of variables and uncertainties such as the random failures of mechanical components, the amount of water demands, the power supply reliability, maintenance scheduling, and so forth. The rapidly growing urban population is also a great challenge to the aging drinking water distribution networks. The water facilities are aging and in need of expensive repairs. Therefore, this thesis will aid in making informed decisions on infrastructure repair, maintenance, and staffing planning when the available budgets are limited. This thesis proposes a probabilistic reliability evaluation methodology for water distribution systems considering the impact of power supply reliability based on the sequential Monte Carlo simulation (MCS), which can guide cost-effective preventative measures before system failures. A previously developed C++ software tool is used to help perform the simulation.

The probabilistic reliability assessment algorithm can be appropriately applied for both the electric power systems and water distribution system is due to the similar stochastic system nature and modeling manner of the system elements. First, the reliability characteristic of each system component in electric power system can be modeled by a two-state model (i.e., up state and down state). Then, the probability of failure for each component can be calculated and a chronological operating sequence can be further determined based on the sequential Monte Carlo Simulation. Likewise, the reliability models for the water distribution system components can be represented using this method. All these similarities result in the similar reliability assessment procedure.

The commonly used deterministic criteria in industrial circles lacked the ability to model and quantify the stochastic nature of system behaviors such as the mechanical failure of system elements. Besides the uncertainties come from water distribution system itself, power supply may also affect the performance of the water distribution network and system reliability. Therefore, the two systems are interactive and physically connected. The purpose of this study is to develop a suitable algorithm to evaluate the water sector and power system as an integrated Water-Energy Nexus (WEN) system. This thesis proposes an integrated, probabilistic reliability evaluation method for the WEN model based on the sequential Monte Carlo Simulation. In the proposed evaluation procedure, both mechanical failures and hydraulic analysis are taken into consideration. Case studies are performed base on a representative water-energy nexus system to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed probabilistic methodology is appropriate to integrated quantitative reliability modeling and assessment of coupled critical infrastructures (i.e., electrical power networks and water distribution networks) by incorporating the emerging smart grid technologies such as electrical microgrids.