Water distribution networks (WDNs) represent essential civil infrastructures providing freshwater for domestic and industrial uses. Pressure management in WDNs is a key issue in operation and management, especially in big and complex networks, and this is the case with Messina City’s WDN. Water network partitioning (WNP) into district zones helps improve water network management; it simplifies water budget computation and consequently helps in the identification and reduction of water loss. In this study, an approach based on sustainability indices (SIs) is proposed to evaluate the improvement in terms of WDN pressure performances after WNP. The sustainability indices are based upon performance criteria including reliability, resiliency, and vulnerability. Three different scenarios are analyzed: (1) the first sees the WDN in the current configuration without partitioning, (2) the second sees the WDN partitioned into district zones for each of which SI is evaluated, and (3) the third sees, in addition to partitioning, the introduction of pressure regulating valves (PRV). Results show an improvement in pressure sustainability at the global- and district-scale and evidence how districts with greater differences in altitude values of terrain topography take more benefits from the installation of PRV.
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