Seismic vulnerability assessment of buried water supply and sanitation pipelines using the analytic hierarchy process: a methodology and application


  • Fatma Zohra Halfaya
  • Mahmoud Bensaibi



analytic hierarchy process, vulnerability index, water supply network, seismic vulnerability, sanitation network


The evaluation of seismic vulnerability in buried pipelines within water supply and sanitation networks stands as a critical endeavor in safeguarding infrastructure against the impacts of earthquakes. In response, this study introduces a systematic methodology rooted in the Vulnerability Index (VI), leveraging the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to allocate weights to factors influencing pipeline seismic behavior. Through the derivation of an expression for calculating the VI based on these weighted factors, our objective is to furnish a comprehensive pipeline classification system, thereby providing a strategic overview of the networks' seismic resilience. This method's practical utility will be exemplified through the examination of concrete cases involving drinking water pipelines (DWP). Furthermore, the scope will extend to encompass sanitation pipelines, thereby validating the methodology's effectiveness across both domains. By systematically assessing the seismic vulnerability of these crucial infrastructures, we aim to fortify their resilience against seismic events, ensuring the continued provision of essential services even in the face of natural disasters. This study's significance lies not only in its contribution to the field of infrastructure resilience but also in its practical implications for urban planning and disaster management. By elucidating the factors influencing pipeline vulnerability and providing a robust framework for assessment, decision-makers can better prioritize resource allocation and mitigation efforts, ultimately enhancing community safety and well-being. Furthermore, the methodology's adaptability and scalability render it applicable to diverse contexts, facilitating its integration into broader risk management strategies. As such, this study serves as a valuable tool for policymakers, engineers, and stakeholders seeking to enhance the resilience of water supply and sanitation networks in earthquake-prone regions. Through informed decision-making and proactive measures, we can build more resilient communities capable of withstanding the challenges posed by seismic hazards.


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How to Cite

Halfaya, F. Z., & Bensaibi, M. (2024). Seismic vulnerability assessment of buried water supply and sanitation pipelines using the analytic hierarchy process: a methodology and application. STUDIES IN ENGINEERING AND EXACT SCIENCES, 5(1), 585–602.