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by Professor J. Ganoulis, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki (Greece)

This volume (NATO ASI SERIES G29) is an excellent overview of recent developments on risk and reliability methods as applied to water resources and environmental engineering. Risk and reliability analysis is a general framework of methodologies aiming at quantifying various uncertainties. These are either natural (physical randomness) or man-induced (data collection and modelling). Because they influence directly the safety and performance of water engineering projects, control and quantification of these uncertainties is one of the main issues in Water Resources Engineering.

The volume is based mainly on the lectures presented in the NATO ASI on Risk and Reliability in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, held in Porto Carras, Greece, in May 1991. It may be considered as a continuation and an extension of a previous NATO ASI held in May 1985 in Tucson, Arizona, USA for the purpose of classifying various concepts of engineering reliability and risk in water resources. The present volume is designed to serve as a textbook. In an introductory chapter, the general framework of risk analysis is presented by use of conceptual modelling techniques rather than the systems engineering approach. Methods and tools of stochastic modelling and the use of fuzzy sets to quantify risks are also explained in this chapter.

The book is organized in four parts.

The first part deals with the analysis of hydrological input uncertainties, such as natural and sample uncertainties. The second part is devoted mainly to the quantification of risks. Water quality problems do receive considerable attention whether in rivers, groundwaters or estuaries. The third part of the present volume deals with risk management. Various criteria are defined to characterize risk, including performance indices. Some characteristic risk-related case studies are presented in the fourth part.

Emphasis is given to an integrated approach of both water quantity and water quality problems and the development of `new' techniques such as the fuzzy set approach and dynamic risk analysis. Further new risks are posed or examined such as those related to global climatic change and oil pollution of coastal areas. New developments include the introduction of paleofloods and tree-ring information into the hydrological data bases, modelling of decisions under various uncertainties using Bayesian techniques and embedding of risk into multiobjective decision models or conflict analysis schemes. The book should be a very useful tool for graduate students, researchers and professional engineers working in the fields of hydraulics, water resources, and environmental and ecological sciences.
Reference books: E124, G26, G29, G30

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