Tools and procedures for an advanced and sustainable management of water distribution systems

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Research Area: Hydro Tools and procedures for an advanced and sustainable management of water distribution systems
Status: Not started  
Project leaders:  
Proposed start date: 2014-02-04 Proposed end date: 2017-02-03
Funded by: Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca Funding: 0.00 AUD

alt  PRIN 2012

- University of Ferrara
- University of Perugia
- Technical University of Bari

Italian Law 152/2006, which superseded "Galli" Law and represents the basis of the legislative structure currently ruling the management of water distribution systems, is inspired by a rational and sustainable water resource use, aimed at guarantying that the currently available resource be utilized without preventing its renewal. Italian Law 152/2006 is intended to cope with such phenomena in progress on a wide scale as the socioeconomic changes (i.e. demographic pressure), the climatic changes and the simultaneous change in water demand scenarios.

The technical activities derived from the current law and its implications take on the shape of gradual rehabilitation and updating of the existing networks. It is then Water Utilities' duty to carry out the current management of the networks, as well as to identify those tools which make it possible to improve and widen the potable water procurement, transmission and distribution structure, in agreement with the territory needs.

The objective of this research project is to provide Water Utility managers with useful tools to set up their planning and management strategies, as well as to develop, from the scientific and technical viewpoints, all the subjects in Hydraulics pertaining to the design, maintenance, management, updating, transformation and sustainability of water distribution systems. The tools that we intend to focus on, consist in procedures, mathematical and laboratory models. At the same time, we will also develop decision support systems in the MS-Excel environment in order to transfer in a short time the results of the project to the technical world. The main themes dealt with in the project will be i) the phasing of construction; ii) the representation of the relationship between leakage and service pressure; iii) the spatial and temporal variability in users' demands. Other themes of interest will be: i) non-invasive procedures based on the rapidly varied flow and aimed at identifying pipe obstructions and leakage; ii) techniques for the definition of network districts with the objective to better characterize water consumption on local and temporal scale; iii) optimization of pumping systems, also considering demand uncertainty; iv) techniques for the real time control of pressure by means of suitable self-adapting systems.

All the previous activities will lead to the development of a decision support system which will include multi-objective optimization procedures, based on algorithms of various kind, such as the evolutionary techniques. The algorithms will be made effective and efficient to such an extent as to be reliably applicable to large and complex water distribution systems, as those which are managed by the water utilities the research units cooperate with.

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