EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Stochastic stress-testing approach for assessing resilience of urban water systems from source to tap

Dionysios Nikolopoulos, Panagiotis Kossieris, and Christos Makropoulos
Dionysios Nikolopoulos et al.
  • National Technical University of Athens, School of Civil Engineering, Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Heroon Polytechneiou 5, 157 80 Zografou, Athens, Greece (

Urban water systems are designed with the goal of delivering their service for several decades.  The infrastructure will inevitably face long-term uncertainty in a multitude of parameters from the hydroclimatic and socioeconomic realms (e.g., climate change, limited supply of water in terms quantity and acceptable quality, population growth, shifting demand patterns, industrialization), as well as from the conceptual realm of the decision maker (e.g., changes in policy, system maintenance incentives, investment rate, expansion plans). Because urban water systems are overly complex, a holistic analysis involves the use of various models that individually pertain to a smaller sub-system and a variety of metrics to assess performance, whereas the analysis is accomplished at different temporal and spatial scales for each sub-system. In this work, we integrate a water resources management model with a water distribution model and a water demand generation model at smaller (household and district) scale, allowing us to simulate urban water systems “from source to tap”, covering the entire water cycle. We also couple a stochastic simulation module that supports the representation of uncertainty throughout the water cycle. The performance of the integrated system under long term uncertainty is assessed with the novel measure of system’s resilience i.e. the degree to which a water system continues to perform under progressively increasing disturbance. This evaluation is essentially a framework of systematic stress-testing, where the disturbance is described via stochastically changing parameters in an ensemble of scenarios that represent future world views. The framework is showcased through a synthesized case study of a medium-sized urban water system.


This research is carried out / funded in the context of the project “A resilience assessment framework for water supply infrastructure under long-term uncertainty: A Source-to-Tap methodology integrating state of the art computational tools” (MIS 5049174) under the call for proposals “Researchers' support with an emphasis on young researchers- 2nd Cycle”. The project is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) by the Operational Programme Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020.”

How to cite: Nikolopoulos, D., Kossieris, P., and Makropoulos, C.: Stochastic stress-testing approach for assessing resilience of urban water systems from source to tap, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13284,, 2021.

Display materials

Display file