Energy efficiency in water distribution systems – a path to an ideal network: AGS experience

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Infrastructure asset management (IAM) gave a step forward in Portuguese water utilities due to recent legal obligations in developing IAM plans. An effort was made by AGS (Administração e Gestão de Sistemas de Salubridade, S.A.), private operator in 17 water utilities, to achieve a higher level of managing data. Data management was an important hurdle to be overcome in order to accurately assess performance indicators. An appropriate bridge to be made is the link between IAM methodological processes and current operational management; this link is crucial when alternative solutions are defined in the planning stage and decisions need to be made. In the past, through continuously hydraulic modelling collaborative projects, AGS achieved sufficient maturity in several processes, such as (a) update network maps, (b) link geographical information system with other information systems, and (c) profiling consumption demand. Nowadays, concerns related with energy savings are gaining importance; concepts as energy efficiency, reducing carbon footprint and gas emissions should be followed. This paper describes an approach to energy assessment in a real water distribution system, where performance indicators associated with energy efficiency were computed for three different operational alternatives. Results considering a balance between cost and performance dimensions were assessed.

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