Decision Support System for Operation of Malfunctioning Water Distribution

Stephen Nyende-Byakika and Julius M. Ndambuki


Decision Support System, Demand Driven Analysis, Head Driven Analysis


Many cities in the world face piped water shortages due to constrained water sources as well as inadequate production and infrastructure. In addition, inefficient design and operation of water distribution networks continues to profoundly undermine water supply service delivery, a challenge that can be alleviated through the use of models. However, while hydraulic models can be useful aids to planning and operation of water distribution networks, many parts of the world still do not use these tools. Moreover, available water distribution models use the demand-driven analysis approach which guarantees fulfillment of demands irrespective of the magnitude of pressures available. This approach is undesirable for systems that suffer from pressure shortfalls and this limitation has led to the introduction of head-driven models which allocate water in accordance with available pressures. This paper develops a decision support system that combines the application of both demand-driven and head-driven analyses thus enabling efficient modelling and better operation of pressurised water supply networks that exhibit low pressures. Tools developed help to alleviate the plight of several consumers by helping to better understand network behaviour while at the same time guiding actions that can be taken to improve water supply.

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