Critical Infrastructures Resilience as a Minimum Supply Concept (KIRMIN)

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    Project Manager :
    Matthias Garschagen

    KIRMIN is a collaboration of engineering, social and planning scientists as well as policy stakeholders and infrastructure providers. The project aims at analyzing interdependencies between essential pillars of critical infrastructure supply. Going beyond ciritical infrastructure management, KIRMIN specifically focuses is on the necessary minimum supplies of the population potentially affected in case of infrastructure breakdown due to extreme natural hazard events. In doing so, the project is particuarlyl interested to understand the variance in the minimum supply demands in differnet socio-spatial population groups and other infrastrcuture elements (e.g. hospitals, firestations). iIn addition to developing minimum supply goals the project also aims at mainstreaming minimum supply concepts into risk and crisis management principles. With the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the project’s empirical pilot areas are three municipalities in Germany: Cologne, Kerpen and Rhein-Erft.

    The transdisciplinary KIRMin consortium will particularly assess dependencies and vulnerabilities regarding power and water supply, emphasizing particularly on the practical knowledge and experiences of the involved stakeholders. The analysis of impacts of a power failure on the water supply and other critical infrastructures will highlight (inter)dependences. As a result preventive measures for risk management and risk reduction can be assessed regarding their effectiveness, not only in technical but also in socio-cultural terms. Based on the results a minimum supply concept for critical infrastructures in case of a power failure will be elaborated.

    UNU-EHS leads the assessment of existing concepts and criteria for the assessment of resilience, as well as international frameworks of institutional cooperation for dealing with critical infrastructure failures in disaster situations. The assessment serves as basis for analyzing the transferability of societal and technical resilience concepts to the context of protecting critical infrastructures. Another core component is the assessment of minimum supply from an end user’s perspective. UNU-EHS conducts a household survey in the three case study areas. A key focus will be in the assessment of socio-spatial differences in the minimum supply requirements (e.g. with respect to people with special needs for care and assistance). The results will inform the development of minimum supply standards, designed in collaboration with the partners from the University of Applied Sciences in Köln, the University of Stuttgart, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and the associated partners. UNU-EHS further contributes to the development of the KIRMIN conceptual framework and the establishment of an evaluation system on dealing with infrastructure failures based on ‘best and worst practices’.