Seismic performance assessment of water distribution systems (WDSs) based on hydraulic simulation is essential for resilience evaluation of WDSs under earthquake disasters. The assessment is mainly to determine how the water supply will be affected due to pipe breaks caused by the earthquake, with the water supply loss estimated based on the loss of supply to nodes. Existing research works usually use the average or overall performance metric of all user nodes as the system performance indicator without considering user nodes’ individual performance and criticality. This paper proposes a framework to evaluate the importance of user nodes considering post-earthquake rescue service and the seismic performance of individual user nodes in the WDS, which supports the pipeline renovation plan to improve the performance of critical user nodes. The importance of user nodes is evaluated by a multi-index model, including the indices for daily service, post-earthquake rescue service, and network topology influence of user nodes. These indices evaluate the importance of user nodes in terms of their roles for daily water service, emergent rescue service, and water transmission to other nodes, respectively. Fragility model of pipelines evaluates the earthquake-induced damages of the WDS, and the seismic performance assessment of the WDS system is performed by the hydraulic model of the WDS with pipeline damages. The proposed framework is implemented in an actual WDS; the results show that the importance classification to user nodes by multi-index approach can identify the critical user nodes for post-earthquake rescue service, which traditional methods may ignore. The importance classification and seismic performance of individual user nodes make it feasible to check the seismic performance of critical user nodes and formulate a targeted pipeline renovation plan to focus limited resources on critical user nodes.
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