WIT Press

A Criterion For Optimal Management Of Water Distribution Networks


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WIT Press


P. Bertola, G. Silvagni, M. Nicolini & F. Volpi


The management of water supply systems is based on fundamental principles, set by international and national legislations; the general target for water utilities is to offer a reliable and effective service following efficiency criteria. In this context, losses in distribution networks are one of the main problems to tackle: their reduction implies a general decrease in operational costs and in the need for a limited resource such as water. Numerous solutions have been proposed to reduce non revenue water, from simple leak detection to structural interventions on distribution systems, based on new design criteria which favour district-based networks over redundant ones. The present work proposes a new procedure to restructure a water supply network starting from its hydraulic model, comparing different types of intervention and evaluating their feasibility, limits and effectiveness in terms of the global system efficiency, as measured by the infrastructure leakage index (ILI). The possibility to use excessive pressure in specific parts of a network for the production of electricity is also examined, as it offers an additional resource to improve the system performance. The procedure has been tested for the water network in the municipalities of Tarcento and Magnano in Riviera, near Udine in Italy. Thanks to a specific hydraulic model, simulations were performed to identify the optimal interventions on the system aimed at reducing water losses and improving performances and efficiency. Keywords: distribution networks, efficiency, leakage analysis, optimisation, pressure management.


distribution networks, efficiency, leakage analysis, optimisation, pressure management.