Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Looking for order in the maze of urban water and wastewater pipeline networks

Venkatesh Govindarajan, Helge Brattebø


Active research has been going on to validate the Power Law in physics, economics,
linguistics, sociology, geophysics etc. This paper sets out to test the hypothesis that the Power
Law is a feature of water and wastewater pipeline networks in cities. Databases from 30
different municipalities in Norway serve as the raw data to be processed. The findings may
seem a bit intuitive in retrospect, but the numerical results provide some interesting insights.
There is greater conformity to the Power Law when the number of pipelines in different lengthclasses
is taken into account, as compared to when the total length in each length-class is
considered. By considering only the equations with a high degree or conformity to the Power
Law, it is possible to derive a standard equation representing an average saturated Norwegian
water-wastewater pipeline network. The authors recommend similar analyses of networks in
other parts of the world.

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