A genetic algorithm for demand pattern and leakage estimation in a water distribution network

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The sustainable management of water supply networks requires the control of physical pipe leakages, such as those due to junction obsolescence or pipe creeping. These leakages usually increase with the operating pressure, and their discharge is commonly assumed to scale with the power of the pressure. The same functional form is also employed to evaluate leakage occurring in the portion of the network downstream a node. The parameters involved in these relationships may be estimated from field experimental data. However, a sensible fluctuation in their values is observed, and therefore the definition of a suitable leakage law represents a major source of uncertainty in water network modeling. In the present paper, the estimation of the leakage law parameters is carried out simultaneously to the hourly demand pattern. To this aim, a hydraulic network model coupled to a genetic algorithm is employed to minimize the deviation between predicted and measured time series of pressure and flow at a small number of sites of the network. A field test case is analyzed to show the effectiveness of the proposed procedure.

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