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  • The Effect of Retail Electricity Price Levels on the FI Values of Smart-Grid Rooftop Solar Power Systems: A Case Study in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

    Tran Thi Lan; Sopin Jirakiattikul; M. S. Chowdhury; Dilawer Ali; Le Duc Niem; Kuaanan Techato (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Smart-grid rooftop solar electricity (SG rooftop PV) is an alternative sustainable energy resource. This research was conducted in the Central Highlands of Vietnam (CHV) in light of the different levels of retail electricity pricing, the sunshine duration, and the implementation of a feed-in-tariff system, in order to calculate the financial indicators (FIs) of SG rooftop PV, which would supply investors, companies supplying SG rooftop PV, and policymakers with useful information. The FI values were calculated based on the net present value, the payback period, and the internal return rate. The results show that the electricity retail price level affects the FI of SG rooftop PV. SG rooftop PV is installed to satisfy higher electricity consumption levels, which attracts a higher retail electricity price. As a result of the greater benefits, especially if SG rooftop PV is installed and the highest level of electricity (exceeds 400 kWh) is used to satisfy domestic consumption, users will recoup their investment in only four years and after that will enjoy free electricity. All the FI values derived from this research show that people in the CHV can derive benefits from installing SG rooftop PV.
  • Efficiency Analysis of Public Library Services Based on Establishing Entity and Outsourcing

    Changhee Kim; Hyunjung Kim; Kanghwa Choi (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    This study investigates the difference in service efficiency based on establishing entity and outsourcing in 847 public libraries in Korea. The public libraries were categorized into three types based on establishing entity and outsourcing, where Type 1 libraries are those established and directly managed by the Office of Education under the central government, Type 2 libraries are established and directly managed by local governments, and Type 3 libraries are established by local governments and their operations are outsourced. Each library type was analyzed and compared using data envelopment analysis (DEA), and results found that public libraries established by local governments are more efficient than those established by the central government, while outsourcing operations improved the efficiency of public libraries. Further analysis of the projection point and excess quantity of input showed that the main cause of inefficiency for Type 1 libraries is the library area, and for Types 2 and 3, the number of periodicals. This study provides guidelines for the sustainable performance of public library services based on the factors of foundation and operational patterns.
  • A Study on the Behavioral Change of Passengers on Sustainable Air Transport After COVID-19

    Ki-Han Song; Solsaem Choi (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    From the perspective of the sustainability of aviation demand, we investigated passenger perceptions with regards to whether or not Korean people will resume the use of air transport after COVID-19. Based on five factors—the prevalence of COVID-19, requirements for self-isolation, circumstances at the destination, social atmosphere with regards to overseas travel, and level of preventative measures employed in the aviation service sector—a structured questionnaire was developed using confirmatory factor analysis. Based on these, the main levels of determination per factor were derived and a structured path for the recovery of aviation demand via structural equation analysis between factors was analyzed. The five factors established above were found to have a significant impact on passenger perceptions with regards to the restart of using air transport. It was found that people may consider resuming overseas travel with air transport, prior to the development of a COVID-19 cure or vaccine, corresponding to relaxed requirements for self-isolation if there is a fall in the number of confirmed cases. In addition, it was determined that the unconditional lifting of self-isolation requirements without considerations for the hygienic conditions of the destination has limitations in how much it will lead to the resumption of air travel. We hope that this study will serve as a starting point for other studies monitoring passenger behavior in the future and that it will lead to the development of sustainable strategies for recovering aviation demand.
  • Low Energy Architecture and Low Carbon Cities: Exploring Links, Scales, and Environmental Impacts

    Francesco Pomponi; Bernardino D’Amico (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Projected population growth and urbanization rates will create a huge demand for new buildings and put an unprecedented pressure on the natural environment and its limited resources. Architectural design has often focused on passive or low-energy approaches to reduce the energy consumption of buildings but it is evident that a more holistic, whole-life based mindset is imperative. On another scale, the movement for, and global initiatives around, low carbon cities promise to deliver the built environment of tomorrow, in harmony with the natural boundary of our planet, the societal needs of its human habitants, and the required growth for economic prosperity. However, cities are made up of individual buildings and this intimate relationship is often poorly understood and under-researched. This multi-scale problem (materials, buildings, and cities) requires plural, trans-disciplinary, and creative ways to develop a range of viable solutions. The unknown about our built environment is vast: the articles in this special issue aim to contribute to the ongoing global efforts to ensure our built environments will be fit for the challenges of our time.
  • How Climate Variables Influence the Spread of SARS-CoV-19 in the United States

    André de Souza Melo; Ana Iza Gomes da Penha Sobral; Marcelo Luiz Monteiro Marinho; Gisleia Benini Duarte; Thiago Henrique Ferreira Gomes; Marcos Felipe Falcão Sobral (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, several scientific types of research investigated the causes of high transmissibility and deaths caused by SARS-CoV-2. Among the spreading factors of the disease, it is known that there is an association between temperature and infected people. However, the studies that identified this phenomenon explored an association relationship, which is weaker and does not allow the identification of which variable would be the cause. This study aimed to analyze the impact of temperature variations and other climatic variables on the infection rate of COVID-19. Data were extracted from weather stations in the United States, which were segregated by county and day. Daily COVID-19 infections and deaths per county were also collected. Two models were used: the first model to analyze the temperature and the number of infected cases and the second model to evaluate the variables of temperature, precipitation, and snow in relation to COVID-19 infection. Model 1 shows that an increase in temperature at time zero caused a decrease in the number of infected cases. Meanwhile, a decrease in temperature after the temperature shock was associated with an increase in the number of cases, which tended to zero overall. A 1% increase in temperature caused a 0.002% decrease in the number of cases. The results suggested a causal relationship between the average temperature and number of CODIV-19 cases. Model 2, which includes temperature, precipitation, and snow shows that an increase in temperature resulted in a 0.00154% decrease response. There was no significant effect of increased precipitation and snow on the infection rate with COVID-19.
  • Impacts of Erratic Snowfall on Apple Orchards in Kashmir Valley, India

    Irfan Rashid; Ulfat Majeed; Sheikh Aneaus; Juan Antonio Ballesteros Cánovas; Markus Stoffel; Nadeem Ahmad Najar; Imtiyaz Ahmad Bhat; Sonam Lotus (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Kashmir Valley has been witnessing erratic snowfall events in recent autumns which severely impacted apple orchards and harvests. Here, we combine remotely sensed data and field observations to map snowfall distribution and snow depths during the recent snowfall events in November 2018 and November 2019. Besides, we used ERA-5 reanalysis climate datasets to investigate the causes of these erratic snowfall events, pointing to an early arrival of Western Disturbances (WD) to the area. Analysis of these untimely snowfall episodes indicates that snow depths varied from 5–122 cm and 31–152 cm during the 2018 and 2019 snowfall events, respectively. In turn, satellite data analysis reveals that the apple orchards cover roughly 9.8% (1329 km<sup>2</sup>) of the entire surface of Kashmir Valley, out of which 32.6% were mildly to severely damaged by snow. The areas in South Kashmir suffered the most from the untimely snowfall with an area affected estimated to ~264 km<sup>2</sup>, followed by North Kashmir (~151 km<sup>2</sup>) and Central Kashmir (18 km<sup>2</sup>). The snowfall caused substantial harvest losses in orchards ranging from 4–50% with an average of ~35%. The geopotential analysis from the ERA-5 dataset provides insights into the synoptic weather patterns leading to the snowfall events and point to a trough in the high-troposphere (200 mb), along with a col at lower levels (850 mb) over the Kashmir Valley from November 2–5, 2018. The lower levels (850 mb) experienced intense cyclonic circulation which favored advection of moisture from the Arabian Sea during the November 6–7, 2019, snowfall event. The large economic losses related to early arrival of WD led to a virtual grounding of the horticultural sector in 2018 and 2019. Therefore, more baseline research is critically needed along with a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of horticulture as an economically viable sector that is being promoted over the Kashmir region, also under climate change.
  • A Smart Campus’ Digital Twin for Sustainable Comfort Monitoring

    Agustín Zaballos; Alan Briones; Alba Massa; Pol Centelles; Víctor Caballero (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Interdisciplinary cross-cultural and cross-organizational research offers great opportunities for innovative breakthroughs in the field of smart cities, yet it also presents organizational and knowledge development hurdles. Smart cities must be large towns able to sustain the needs of their citizens while promoting environmental sustainability. Smart cities foment the widespread use of novel information and communication technologies (ICTs); however, experimenting with these technologies in such a large geographical area is unfeasible. Consequently, smart campuses (SCs), which are universities where technological devices and applications create new experiences or services and facilitate operational efficiency, allow experimentation on a smaller scale, the concept of SCs as a testbed for a smart city is gaining momentum in the research community. Nevertheless, while universities acknowledge the academic role of a smart and sustainable approach to higher education, campus life and other student activities remain a mystery, which have never been universally solved. This paper proposes a SC concept to investigate the integration of building information modeling tools with Internet of Things- (IoT)-based wireless sensor networks in the fields of environmental monitoring and emotion detection to provide insights into the level of comfort. Additionally, it explores the ability of universities to contribute to local sustainability projects by sharing knowledge and experience across a multi-disciplinary team. Preliminary results highlight the significance of monitoring workspaces because productivity has been proven to be directly influenced by environment parameters. The comfort-monitoring infrastructure could also be reused to monitor physical parameters from educational premises to increase energy efficiency.
  • Touristic SME’s Competitiveness in the Light of Present Challenges—A Qualitative Approach

    Daniel Adrian Gârdan; Ionel Dumitru; Iuliana Petronela Gârdan; Carmen Adina Paștiu (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Competitiveness of SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprise) within the tourism field has been of a great interest for many scholars over time. Due to the crisis conditions specific to the present time, the issue of competitiveness becomes a very sensitive one, giving rise to sometimes contradictory points of view. Our research aims to analyze the opinions and perceptions of SME managers in the field of tourism in terms of the concept of competitiveness, how to measure it and sources of competitiveness still viable within the context of the current crisis or specific to it, etc. In order to be able to properly analyze the above, qualitative research was initiated and conducted in the form of an in-depth interview with 42 Romanian SME managers in the tourism field. The results of the study reflect a mature approach of managers in terms of possible new sources of competitiveness—the emphasis on technical solutions capable of managing the socio-medical dimensions of tourism consumer behavior, a prevalence for an organic growth strategy and for additional investments in qualified personnel, as well as online management of most aspects related to services and openness to collaboration within tourism clusters.
  • Rainfall Characterization and Trend Analysis of Wet Spell Length across Varied Landscapes of the Upper Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

    Girma Berhe Adane; Birtukan Abebe Hirpa; Cholho Song; Woo-Kyun Lee (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Understanding the timing and variability of rainfall is crucial for the effective management of water resources in river basins dominated by rainfed agricultural practices. Our study aimed to characterize rainfall and analyze the trends in the length of wet spells (LWS) in the Upper Awash River Basin—one of the most water-stressed river basins in Ethiopia. We applied statistical descriptors and a Mann–Kendall (MK) test to determine the onset, end, and LWS for the small (<i>Belg</i>) and main (<i>Kiremt</i>) rainy seasons across different landscapes of the basin. We observed highly stable rainfall onsets in all stations during both seasons. However, unlike the <i>Kiremt</i> season, the LWS in the <i>Belg</i> season was too short and unreliable for rainfed agriculture. Based on the MK test, an increasing monotonic trend in LWS during the <i>Kiremt</i> season was detected only in the mountainous landscape of the basin. In contrast, we observed no trends in the remaining stations in the Upper Valley region of the basin, despite the linear regressions inferring an upward or downward pattern. Our findings provide accurate climatological information for the effective development of rainwater management strategies in the Upper Awash River Basin.
  • Exploring the Process Toward Corporate Sustainability at a Thai SME

    Sooksan Kantabutra; Prattana Punnakitikashem (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Given that corporate leaders seek to ensure the long-term sustainability of their organization, this study explores how a business adopting a Thai Sufficiency Economy philosophy improves its sustainability performance. Adopting the Sufficiency Thinking model as the research framework, this study uses a qualitative research approach with a set of different data collection techniques to explore a sample Small–Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) called Plan Creation. Collected data are identified as themes, according to the Sufficiency Thinking model. Our findings reveal that there is a close fit between the collected data and the Sufficiency Thinking model. Virtuous attributes, individual and shared knowledge and the decision-making framework of Sufficiency Mindset are observed through the sustainable leadership actions, leading to, among other things, social and environmental innovation. Implications for practicing managers and directions for future research are also discussed.
  • Functional Autonomy Evaluation Levels in Middle-Aged and Older Spanish Women: On Behalf of the Healthy-Age Network

    Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo; Noelia González-Gálvez; Raquel Vaquero-Cristóbal; Gemma María Gea-García; Abraham López-Vivancos; Alejandro Espeso-García; Daniel Velázquez-Díaz; Ana Carbonell-Baeza; David Jiménez-Pavón; Juliana Brandão Pinto de Castro (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Aging is associated with a progressive loss of functional capacity that affects the health and quality of life of middle-aged and older people. The purpose of this study was to report functional autonomy evaluation levels in middle-aged and older women in the Spanish context. A total of 709 middle-aged and older women, between 50 and 90 years old, were selected to participate in the study. The sample was divided by age category every five years. The functional autonomy levels were determined by the Latin American Group for Maturity (GDLAM) protocol and we developed a classification pattern for middle-aged and older women living in Spain. The GDLAM Index (GI) was then calculated to assess functional autonomy. The classification of the tests and the GI followed the percentile rank (P) Very Good (<i>p</i> < 0.15), Good (<i>p</i> 0.16–<i>p</i> 0.50), Regular (<i>p</i> 0.51–<i>p</i> 0.85), and Poor (<i>p</i> > 0.85). It was considered that the lower the value found for the percentile, the better the result. The GDLAM protocol showed strong reliability with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values greater than 0.92 in all tests. It is observed that all variables of the GDLAM protocol presented a positive and significant correlation with age (<i>p</i> < 0.001). The Roc Curve showed that GI values higher than 26 (CI95% = 0.97–1.00; <i>p</i> < 0.001) and 32 (CI95% = 0.98–1.00; <i>p</i> < 0.001) for middle-aged and elderly women, respectively, can predict and indicate low functional autonomy. The normative values hereby provided will enable evaluation and adequate interpretation of Spanish middle-aged and older women’s functional autonomy.
  • Waste Management in Australia Is an Environmental Crisis: What Needs to Change so Adaptive Governance Can Help?

    Stephen Jones (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Research suggests that strengthening cooperation between governments is required to support improved policy outcomes. Despite established cooperative agreements between the levels of government in Australia, a lack of urgency and consistency continues to drive unsustainable approaches toward waste management practices. Adaptive governance has emerged as a potential approach for addressing complexity, with multiple actors collaborating in the design and implementation of challenging environmental issues. The main findings of this research highlight key challenges in multilevel systems and reforms required to establish institutional arrangements that support key adaptive governance enablers in the context of cooperative approaches to waste management.
  • Psychological Well-Being and Its Relations to School Trajectory and Family Educational Capital in High Intellectual Ability Adolescents

    Doris Castellanos-Simons; Katia María Pérez-Pacheco; Eduardo Hernández-Padilla (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    The psychological well-being of adolescents depends on diverse contextual factors, in particular those relating to the educational and cultural capital of families. The study examined the relationships between psychological well-being of high-ability adolescents, family educational capital, and their school trajectory. The participants were 101 students from 1st year of a public high school in Morelos, Mexico, previously identify by their high intellectual ability. They completed an ad hoc form with information about cultural and academic aspects, and the Spanish version of the Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scale. Results shown that the School trajectory factor only had significant effects on Control environment and Purpose in life’s dimensions. Meanwhile the analysis of variances yielded that Cultural capital showed significant differences with the following well-being scales: General, Self-acceptance, Positive relations, and Purpose in life. Furthermore, the interaction between Sex and Cultural capital had only significant effects on Positive Relations and Environmental control favoring men over women, while the interaction of Cultural capital and School trajectory had significant effects only on Purpose in Life dimension. The results emphasize the need for studies that clarify the role of sociocultural context factors in understanding the comprehensive development of highly able adolescents and their psychological well-being.
  • “Following the Science”: In Search of Evidence-Based Policy for Indoor Air Pollution from Radon in Ireland

    Anthea R. Lacchia; Geertje Schuitema; Aparajita Banerjee (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can accumulate inside dwellings, represents the second biggest cause of lung cancer globally. In Ireland, radon is linked to approximately 300 lung cancer cases every year, equating to 12% of all lung cancer deaths. Despite the health risks posed by radon air pollution, Ireland lacks well-defined and universally applicable air pollution-related public health policies. Through purposive literature sampling, we critically examine the case of indoor radon policy development in Ireland. Specifically, we analyse the evidence-based policymaking process relating to indoor radon pollution from three different knowledge dimensions, namely political, scientific, and practical knowledge. In doing so, we identify various challenges inherent to pollution-related public policymaking. We highlight the difficulties of balancing and integrating information from multiple disciplines and perspectives and argue that input from multiple scientific areas is crucial, but can only be achieved through continued, dialogic communication between stakeholders. On the basis of our analysis, we suggest that a transdisciplinary perspective, defined as a holistic approach which subordinates disciplines and looks at the dynamics of whole systems, will allow evidence-based policymaking to be effective. We end with recommendations for evidence-based policymaking when it comes to public health hazards such as radon, which are applicable to sustainable air pollution management beyond Ireland.
  • The Benefits of Water Hyacinth (<i>Eichhornia crassipes</i>) for Southern Africa: A Review

    Obianuju P. Ilo; Mulala D. Simatele; S’phumelele L. Nkomo; Ntandoyenkosi M. Mkhize; Nagendra G. Prabhu (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Globally, water hyacinth is a known invasive species that predominantly threatens the pillars of sustainability. The cost of controlling these invasive plants is high and many Southern African countries are barely equipped for this liability as the process has to be performed over time. Despite this challenge, there is valuable resource recovery from water hyacinth which can be used to make financial and environmental returns. The visible differences between the control and utilisation methods lie in the definition, recognition, and matching of costs and benefits. Using a rapid appraisal of existing literature, which was analysed using meta-analysis, the current paper is an attempt to discuss the beneficial use of water hyacinth. It is argued in the paper that the economic feasibility of control methods which, on one hand, are used to calculate the economic value of water hyacinth, mainly relies on assumptions whose reliability and sustainability are questionable, thus implying limitations on using this kind of control methods. On the other hand, the costs and benefits of utilising water hyacinth can be quantifiable, making them susceptible to changes associated with time value and sensitivity analysis of possible fluctuations in cashflows. In the context of these annotations, other scholars have argued for the consideration of other utilisation alternatives, among which is included biogas which has been identified as the most viable option because of its potential in diversifying the energy mix, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to improved water quality. Given these observations, this paper aims to contribute to policy and research discussions on the fiscal understandings of the material recovery from water hyacinth to promote the adoption of biogas technology. These views are discussed within the broader discourse of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • Predicting Tree Species Diversity Using Geodiversity and Sentinel-2 Multi-Seasonal Spectral Information

    Irene Chrysafis; Georgios Korakis; Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos; Giorgos Mallinis (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Measuring and monitoring tree diversity is a prerequisite for altering biodiversity loss and the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. High temporal satellite remote sensing, recording difference in species phenology, can facilitate the extraction of timely, standardized and reliable information on tree diversity, complementing or replacing traditional field measurements. In this study, we used multispectral and multi-seasonal remotely sensed data from the Sentinel-2 satellite sensor along with geodiversity data for estimating local tree diversity in a Mediterranean forest area. One hundred plots were selected for in situ inventory of tree species and measurement of tree diversity using the Simpson’s (D1) and Shannon (H’) diversity indices. Four Sentinel-2 scenes and geodiversity variables, including elevation, aspect, moisture, and basement rock type, were exploited through a random forest regression algorithm for predicting the two diversity indices. The multi-seasonal models presented the highest accuracy for both indices with an R<sup>2</sup> up to 0.37. In regard to the single season, spectral-only models, mid-summer and mid-autumn model also demonstrated satisfactory accuracy (max R<sup>2</sup> = 0.28). On the other hand, the accuracy of the spectral-only early-spring and early-autumn models was significant lower (max R<sup>2</sup> = 0.16), although it was improved with the use of geodiversity information (max R<sup>2</sup> = 0.25).
  • Key Elements for the Design of a Wine Route. The Case of La Axarquía in Málaga (Spain)

    Elena Cruz-Ruiz; Gorka Zamarreño-Aramendia; Elena Ruiz-Romero de la Cruz (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    The design of enotourist routes represents an opportunity for the sustainable development of rural territories. This qualitative study was structured in three parts to reach a cohesion model representing the academic literature, visitors, and winemakers. This research focused on the region of La Axarquía in Málaga (Spain) because of its wine and tourist tradition. In relation to the methodology, this study used content analysis techniques for the analysis of both the relevant literature and the questionnaires completed by all the winemakers of the territory, 60 tourists who visited the wineries, and the 10 most representative agents linked to the tourist development of this region. The findings provided a model with the elements to be taken into account in the creation of a wine route or itinerary in any destination of the world. The application of this model will contribute to the creation of new tourist policies that can move towards efficient progress of the region.
  • Sustainable Public Procurement in Central European Countries. Can It Also Bring Savings?

    Peter Džupka; Matúš Kubák; Peter Nemec (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    The efficiency of public resource use and its strategic framework with respect to sustainable public procurement policies, such as the most economically advantageous tender (hereafter MEAT), has become an important topic nowadays. Therefore, the study examines the determinants of savings creation within MEAT in Central European countries. It uses a dataset published in the Tenders Electronic Daily database in 2017–2018 about contract award notices and carries out a generalized linear model to study the determinants of savings creation within MEAT. The findings suggest that when services are procured within MEAT, the savings are considerably higher than compared to works. If the framework agreement takes place in a procurement process, the savings are significantly smaller. In cases where the subject of procurement is not co-financed by EU funds, the savings are higher than in the case that they are. If an open type of procurement is used, the savings are seemingly smaller than in cases where a non-open type of procurement takes place. When the contract is awarded to a single supplier, the savings are higher than otherwise. A higher number of total offers, as well as a higher number of offers from small and medium-sized enterprises, induce higher savings. It can be concluded that the use of sustainable public procurement subtly reduces the creation of savings.
  • The Best Bang for the Bucks: Rethinking Global Investment in Biodiversity Conservation

    Sebastián Cordero; Gabriel J. Castaño-Villa; Francisco E. Fontúrbel (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Biodiversity loss is a central issue in conservation biology, with protected areas being the primary approach to stop biodiversity loss. However, education has been identified as an important factor in this regard. Based on a database of threatened species and socio-economic features for 138 countries, we tested whether more protected areas or more education investment is associated with a lower proportion of threatened species (for different groups of vertebrates and plants). For this, we fitted generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMM) to assess the relative importance of socio-economic variables on the proportion of threatened species. We found that education investment was negatively associated with the proportion of threatened species in 2007 and 2017, as well as with their change rates. Conversely, the percentage of protected land was significant for reptiles but showed weak relationships with other groups. Our results suggest that only increasing protected areas will not stop or reduce biodiversity loss, as the context and people’s attitudes towards wildlife also play major roles here. Therefore, investing in education, in addition to protected areas, would have the missing positive effect on achieving effective species conservation actions worldwide.
  • A Framework for Identifying the Critical Region in Water Distribution Network for Reinforcement Strategy from Preparation Resilience

    Mingyuan Zhang; Juan Zhang; Gang Li; Yuan Zhao (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
    Water distribution networks (WDNs), an interconnected collection of hydraulic control elements, are susceptible to a small disturbance that may induce unbalancing flows within a WDN and trigger large-scale losses and secondary failures. Identifying critical regions in a water distribution network (WDN) to formulate a scientific reinforcement strategy is significant for improving the resilience when network disruption occurs. This paper proposes a framework that identifies critical regions within WDNs, based on the three metrics that integrate the characteristics of WDNs with an external service function; the criticality of urban function zones, nodal supply water level and water shortage. Then, the identified critical regions are reinforced to minimize service loss due to disruptions. The framework was applied for a WDN in Dalian, China, as a case study. The results showed the framework efficiently identified critical regions required for effective WDN reinforcements. In addition, this study shows that the attributes of urban function zones play an important role in the distribution of water shortage and service loss of each region.

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