The infrastructure systems explicitly modeled in this research are power and water networks (hydrological to capture flooding, water distribution, and waste water to capture limits to removal rates) along with delays caused by disruptions in the cellular communication networks (cell phone records). Both power and water are conveniently modeled as distribution networks that move or transform materials to meet demand. A network model of the electric grid will be developed based on existing electrical power generation plants in Western PR and of the actual layout of interconnecting high voltage and distribution lines.
Water Distribution and Watershed Modeling
In modeling the hydrological processes and connection to the water supply system, two components will be developed and integrated for all the 30 nodes in the western region of the island. The first component is the “Watershed model” and the second element is the “Water supply and distribution model” There are two important uses for these models: one being to inform the network model, and the other for future scenarios impact assessment.
Watershed model: A watershed model will be used for the study area to reproduce the hydrologic response during and after Hurricane Maria. The model will produce useful information because the monitoring systems (stream flow and weather) were knocked out by the Hurricane. In fact, Puerto Rico’s Doppler Radar (NEXRAD) was severely damaged during the hurricane. The National Weather Service (NWS) has provided rainfall data during and after the hurricane with operational satellite algorithm called the Hydro-Estimator. During Maria, NWS estimated a rainfall distribution of 5 inches to more than 35 inches on the island.
Water supply and distribution model: A water distribution system simulation will be performed using a simplified network model for the Western region of Puerto Rico. In the region, the local water authority, AAA, has 196,155 clients, 16 filtration plants, 177 drinking water sampling stations, 238 water storage tanks, 42 deep wells, 9 sewer plants and 121 sewer sampling stations. The sanitary sewer system is limited to the urbanized areas. The vast majority of the study area uses septic systems to treat wastewater.