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Possible applications of GIS tools in order to prepare for drinking water distribution network emergencies


[ 1 ] Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Faculty of Water Sciences, University of Public Service, 2 Ludovika tér, H-1083 Budapest, Hungary

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2021 | Journal volume: vol. 34 | Journal number: no. 2

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Simulation
  • Drinking water
  • Pipe networks
  • Emergency planning

EN Data acquisition and computerised analysis can be used to plan for emergencies related to important pipe networks. The objective of this study is to illustrate how GIS and hydraulic calculations may be used to reduce the impact of unexpected events, such as contamination and physical destruction and train operators for such scenarios. A case study with calibrated hydraulic calculations is used to investigate the uncertainty of the obtained information. Hydraulic conditions and contaminant transport are simulated with open source software. It is shown how GIS analysis can be utilised to find optimal solutions for flow redirection problems and shutting off portions of the network. A control system integrated network hydraulic simulation solution is described in order to make training and preparation more efficient. The investigation revealed serious deficiencies regarding the necessary input for running simulations. Contaminant transport results indicated that localisation based on computed water quality models is possible, but contains uncertainties. Data processing and simulation are shown to be a promising tool in decision support and preparation based on the applications outlined. Despite advanced databases and computerised analysis tools, collected data and dynamic simulation are not utilised to their full potential in the process of planning for emergencies. Based on the hypothetical simulation presented, further research and data collection are required to reduce the uncertainty of contaminant transport. For future research, more effort has to be put into developing simulation environments.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

21 - 36




License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Points of MNiSW / journal


Points of MNiSW / journal in years 2017-2021