Simplification of water supply network models through linearisation (1999-2000)

Funding body: ERASMUS scheme (European Community)

The water industry in the United Kingdom spends approximately £70,000,000 per annum on electricity for pumping water supply. Similarly, almost 7% of the electricity consumed in the United States is used by the municipal water utilities. Since treated water pumping compromises the major fraction of the total energy budget, optimised operational schedules can improve the energy efficiency of a water distribution system. System operators make these operational schedules with the aid of special decision support software. This software is based on mathematical models, which can comprise several thousand components. During the search for an optimal operational schedule, those water network models are run many times for different input and operating conditions. However, only a few key results are normally necessary, so a simplified model which provides those outputs could be adequate.

Such a model should contain all the control components of the original model and the variables that are used to assess the quality of the operational policy. Ideally, simplified models will require less computation time and provide all information needed for the optimisation. Hence they could speed up the optimisation process and allow larger systems to be optimised. This project deals with simplification of water network models for the purpose of improving the running times of the simulation model.


  • Maschler, T. and D.A. Savic, (1999) Simplification of Water Supply Network Models through Linearisation, Centre for Water Systems, Report No.99/01, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.119.

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