Water supply delivery failures-a scenario-based approach to assess economic losses and risk reduction options
Journal article, 2020

Access to a reliable water supply is central for a well-functioning society. However, water supply systems are subject to a wide range of threats which may affect their ability to provide water to society. This paper presents a novel risk assessment approach that enables thorough analyses of economic losses and associated uncertainties under a range of water supply disruption scenarios. The purpose is to avoid sub-optimization when prioritizing between risk reduction measures, by integrating the full range of possible outcomes from low to high probability events. By combining risk analysis with cost-benefit analysis, additional information is provided on measures for leveraging investments in managing and reducing the risks. This enables the identification of the most economically profitable risk reduction alternatives and enables decision makers to build strategic capacity for operating in difficult and uncertain futures. The presented approach is exemplified on the island of Gotland, one of the most water scarce areas of Sweden.

Cost-benefit analysis


Water scarcity

Risk curves

Water supply

Risk reduction


Karin Sjöstrand

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Andreas Lindhe

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

T. Soderqvist

Anthesis Enveco AB

Lars Rosen

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Water (Switzerland)

2073-4441 (ISSN)

Vol. 12 6 1746

Subject Categories

Water Engineering

Other Civil Engineering

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources



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