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Optimizing intermittent water supply in urban pipe distribution networks

  • Author(s): Lieb, AM
  • Rycroft, CH
  • Wilkening, J
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2016 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In many urban areas of the developing world, piped water is supplied only intermittently, as valves direct water to different parts of the water distribution system at different times. The flow is transient, and may transition between free-surface and pressurized, resulting in complex dynamical features with important consequences for water suppliers and users. Here, we develop a computational model of transition, transient pipe flow in a network, accounting for a wide variety of realistic boundary conditions. We validate the model against several published data sets and demonstrate its use on a real pipe network. The model is extended to consider several optimization problems motivated by realistic scenarios. We demonstrate how to infer water flow in a small pipe network from a single pressure sensor, and show how to control water inflow to minimize damaging pressure transients.

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