A nexus approach to infrastructure resilience planning under uncertainty
Natural disasters pose serious threats to Critical Infrastructure (CI) systems like power and drinking water, sometimes disrupting service for days, weeks, or months. Decision makers can mitigate this risk by hardening CI systems through actions like burying power lines and installing backup generation for water pumping. However, the inherent uncertainty in natural disasters coupled with the high costs of hardening activities make disaster planning a challenging task. We develop a disaster planning framework that recommends asset-specific hardening projects across interdependent power and water networks facing the uncertainty of natural disasters. We demonstrate the utility of our model by applying it to Guayama, Puerto Rico, focusing on the risk posed by hurricanes. Our results show that our proposed optimization approach identifies hardening decisions that maintain a high level of service post-disaster. The results also emphasize power system hardening due to the dependency of the water system on power for water treatment and a higher vulnerability of the power network to hurricane damage. Finally, choosing optimal hardening decisions by hedging with respect to all potential hurricane scenarios and their probabilities produces results that perform better on extreme events and are less variable compared to optimizing for only the average hurricane scenario.