Water Infrastructure Natural Disaster

Topics: Water, Drinking water, Water supply network Pages: 6 (1554 words) Published: March 25, 2011
the water infrastructure consists of built to pump, divert, transport, store, treat, and deliver safe drinking water. The infrastructure consists of a large number of of groundwater wells, surface-water intakes, dams, reservoirs, storage tanks, drinking-water facilities, pipes, and aqueducts. Briefly I'll give you a quick rundown on how the service is provided.

The groundwater naturally is stored in underground geologic formations, and is pumped from its subterranean source via a single well or multiple wells. Surface water can be accessed via an intake pipe in a river, canal, large lake, or artificial reservoir. In some rivers, low-head dams may be used to pool the water for more efficient withdrawal. In other cases, large dams have been constructed to impound water on a large scale, thereby ensuring a reliable water supply throughout the year, and from year to year. Regardless of the water source the water is then transported via pumps and pipes usually first to a water treatment plant at which point it is treated (if required) so that it meets the necessary drinking-water standards. Once treated the Water may be stored in underground or above-ground tanks. Storage most commonly is used for two reasons: (1) to provide adequate contact time for disinfection; and

(2) to provide for peak demand, when customer demand may exceed what the pumping system can supply (e.g., in the morning when most people are showering and preparing breakfast). The last component is the distribution system that moves the treated water throughout the community. The finished water often is stored in treated water reservoirs until it is needed for residential, industrial, municipal, or agricultural uses. So now that we have discussed the processes necessary to get the water from the storage facility we can now discuss the IT systems that are required to keep the process going.

* Monitoring systems - which keep track of the water levels * Pumping systems - enable to see the current water flow and locations where the water is going * Pipe monitoring - allowing to shutdown certain pipe lines if over a certain % lost threshold, which may indicate a damaged pipeline. * treatment systems - ensure that the water passing through the plant meets the defined drinking water standards.

* communication systems are also used to relay information with regards to subsystems to the appropriate department. Tho not all of the communication systems are required to be operational these include: * email

* billing
* website

Other systems that are used but not essential to the operation of the water facility include: * accounting systems (payroll, billing)
* personal information (customers, employees)

Possible types of attack

* Denial of Service attack
* Gain access to mains water pipe lines locations
* Access to financial information
* Access to employees and customer information
* Attack on water monitoring systems
* Attack on water maintenance systems
* Attack on the water treatment systems
* Opening Spillway gates
* Affecting Pumping stations
* Opening and closing major valves

Possible Risks
Denial of Service attack -
If attackers were to launch a DoS / DDoS attack, the effect would only be left by users trying to access the SA Water site, depending on the length of the DoS business would be able to continue as usual, but prolonged DoS attacks may affect the payment of bills but not the running of the CI. Gain access to mains water pipe lines locations -

Attackers may access the system to find locations of mains water pipes, once found they may damage the pipes directly which would be disastrous for the affected areas. This area of water system is not secure enough. Pipe lines are spread over thousands of miles of area. They may add chemicals / poisons to the water supply and cause harm to hundreds of thousands of users in the affected areas....
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