The UCLA Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center has received a contract from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to conduct a seismic risk assessment of water distribution infrastructure crossing earthquake faults in Southern California.

“Los Angeles County is heavily dependent on water transmission from outside. As such, the County is susceptible to disruption of water supply in case of natural hazards, particularly earthquakes. Therefore, it is important to quantify the seismic risk of the water infrastructure,” said Yousef Bozorgnia, center director and principal investigator of the project. “The issue is compounded when the water transmission system crosses a major earthquake fault, which is the subject of this research project.”

Bozorgnia, a civil and environmental engineering professor, has developed earthquake ground motion models that are used worldwide for seismic analysis and design of buildings, bridges, dams, infrastructure and critical facilities. 

In this two-year project, the researchers will investigate seismic hazard characterization and risk quantification of distributed water systems crossing earthquake faults. The Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center is a multidisciplinary and multi-campus research center headquartered at the Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. The center’s research focuses on improving resiliency of communities and reduction of risks to infrastructures against natural hazards in order to prevent them from becoming natural disasters.