Self-cleaning and earthquake resilient water distribution networks in Japan

Water supply utilities in Japan have to face huge challenges. Water demand is expected to considerably decrease as a result of declining population and the penetration of water-saving equipment. Earthquakes and ageing pose a threat to the continuity of supply.

A research team led by prof Itoh (Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University) has evaluated future network design concepts taking into account  self-cleaning and earthquake resilience functions in a depopulating society. The team performed desk studies applying  various modeling tools to two water distribution areas in Kobe city. The researchers concluded that most of the current pipes do not have a self-cleaning function. This number can be increased by downsizing pipes in future design concepts, but this comes with a decrease of earthquake resiliency. However, it was found that current networks could have a higher self-cleaning function and be able to secure earthquake resiliency at the same level in some cases.

Download the publication: Importance-of-Self-Cleaning-Networks (.PDF)

Cooperation partners:

  • National Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Tsukuba
  • Kobe City Waterworks Bureau, Kobe
  • Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University
  • Kyoto