Keywords: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Water supply systems. Lifelines. Infrastructure performance. Economic loss models. Community disaster resilience. Quantitative analyses. Disruptions. Public shelters. Multi-stakeholder participation. Socio-economic impacts. Seismic performance.
Abstract: This report examines how lifeline infrastructure performance in disasters can be linked to communities’ disaster resilience. The scope is limited to the social and economic dimensions of resilience, and focuses on the case of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The research links infrastructure performance and community resilience through two channels: first, through quantitative modeling and development of decision-support tools, and second, through exploring the role of community engagement in defining performance goals. The research develops a new simulation model of direct economic loss from lifeline disruption in disasters. It further develops a model to estimate the demand for public shelter in a disaster. A second line of research then explores issues related to how such socio-economic impacts can be considered in utilities’ mitigation decision-making, what are appropriate seismic performance goals for utilities, and by what processes these can be determined. The issues are explored through a literature review of participatory processes in environmental risk management and a series of interviews with experts, utilities, and representatives from a broad range of community stakeholder groups. This research provides background, quantitative models, preliminary community input, and recommendations for a process by which utilities and communities can assess and improve their disaster resilience.