Efficient operation of water distribution systems is linked with the assurance of water availability to the population. In general, the operational rules applied to water distribution networks have as a sole objective the continuity of the water supply and disregards saving energy costs related to the operation of the pumps. The task of determining optimal operational procedures involves several elements such as the daily variation of water consumption, energy cost rates and the level of the tanks and reservoirs. This work presents a hybrid genetic algorithm which is connected to the widely known software EPANET, in order to determine operational strategies in water supply with reduced energy costs. The model is applied to a hypothetical example and to a real water distribution network located in the city of Ourém, in Portugal.
Keywords: energy efficiency, energy savings, genetic algorithms, water supply networks