Equitable distribution of water is a growing source of worry, and concerns water systems’ managers as water-stressed areas steadily increase and situations of water scarcity are becoming more frequent. The problem goes beyond just the water sector and globally affects many countries’ economies since water resources have multiple uses (i.e., power generation, irrigation, etc.). One of the various strategies to overcome periods of extreme events (e.g., water scarcity) is the adoption of intermittent operation. Intermittent operation can minimize water losses, and manages to supply the same water demand (in terms of volume) during a reduced period of time. However, despite minimizing water losses, the energy consumption necessary to cope with the increased flows and head loss, due to the reduced number of operating hours, increases. This paper explores a strategy based on rehabilitation of the system’s main pipes. It also considers optimal selection and scheduling of pumps aiming at improving the system’s hydraulic parameters (e.g., velocity and head losses) and at reducing the operating costs. Both selection and scheduling of pumps and resizing of main pipes are optimized using Particle Swarm Optimization. The obtained results show that this strategy can significantly reduce the energy consumed and can be economically feasible.
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