Assessing GIS-based indicator methodology for analyzing the physical vulnerability of water and sanitation infrastructure

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/Tema vatten i natur och samhälleCentrum för klimatpolitisk forskningFilosofiska fakulteten


Climate related problems such as droughts, heat waves, increased levels of precipitation and storms threaten the functionality of several infrastructural systems. This thesis focus on infrastructure that provides for water and sanitation services because it has been identified as being particular at risk when the climate is changing. The identification and mapping of the vulnerability of a system can improve the prerequisites to choose more appropriate measures to facilitate the situation at hand. In this study a set of GIS based methodologies using indicators (simple and composite) of vulnerability are proposed and assessed. “Physical” vulnerability is used as a measure combining the intrinsic characteristics of a system and the climate related hazard resulting in a measure for physical vulnerability. GIS software is used to manage the spatial data sets and to combine the indicators into indexes of physical vulnerability. The assessed systems and related climate hazards are: - Water and sewage pipe network and an increased risk of pipe breakage due to increased frequencies of landslides and – An increased risk for ground and surface water supplies related to pollution from the point sources sewage infiltration and polluted ground”. The resulting GIS applications are tested on pilot areas located in the Stockholm region and GIS based sensitivity analyses are performed. The availability and accessibility of relevant digital spatial data is also assessed and discussed.

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