Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 20192

Special Issue Editors

School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Enna “Kore”, Cittadella Universitaria, 94100 Enna, Italy
Interests: integrated urban water systems; wastewater treatment plant management and optimization; advanced water treatment; oily and salty water treatment; energy management in integrated water systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Enna “Kore”, Enna, Italy
Interests: water infiltration; water quality; urban drainage system
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Innovation in information and communication technologies has had a large impact in the production of goods and in service provision. Urban water research and practice have received a boost thanks to the availability of new and advanced numerical models, increase in computing resources (especially distributed in clouds), and availability of cheap and reliable sensors that can be deployed through the system to trace its evolution. This Special Issue welcomes research papers dealing with new technologies and models to monitor and manage urban water distribution networks and drainage systems. Papers about new monitoring strategies and technologies, including both water quantity and quality aspects, are also welcome, as well as scientific reports regarding the application of optimization techniques to improve system management, report leakages, investigate water quality, and reduce energy consumption. Well-documented and internationally relevant case studies and practical field test reports could be a valuable addition to this Special Issue that aims to catch the interest of researchers in the water and IT sector as well as of water managers and practitioners.

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Freni
Dr. Mariacrocetta Sambito
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water distribution networks
  • urban drainage systems
  • numerical modeling
  • optimization
  • water quality
  • illicit intrusion
  • decision making
  • maintenance schedule
  • energy saving
  • online sensors
  • asset management
  • leakage management

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 186 KiB  
Editorial
Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II
Water 2023, 15(6), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061086 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Innovation in information and communication technologies has greatly impacted the production of goods and service provision [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

19 pages, 1735 KiB  
Article
A Two-Stage Model for Data-Driven Leakage Detection and Localization in Water Distribution Networks
Water 2023, 15(15), 2710; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15152710 - 27 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Water utilities face the challenge of reducing water losses by promptly detecting, localizing, and repairing leaks during their operational stage. To address this challenge, utilities are exploring alternative approaches to detect leaks with high accuracy in a timely manner, while minimizing environmental and [...] Read more.
Water utilities face the challenge of reducing water losses by promptly detecting, localizing, and repairing leaks during their operational stage. To address this challenge, utilities are exploring alternative approaches to detect leaks with high accuracy in a timely manner, while minimizing environmental and economic consequences. This research proposes a two-stage model that relies on data analysis to predict leak incidents and their specific locations in water distribution networks (WDNs). By leveraging pressure and flow rate data collected from multiple points in the network, the model first calculates prediction errors in pressure heads. Subsequently, statistical measures applied to these error distributions are used to classify the occurrence and location of leaks. The suggested approach is both cost-effective and easily deployable. Through simulation-based case studies conducted on various benchmark networks, the efficacy of the proposed model is demonstrated. The results show that the model effectively predicts leak occurrences and their respective locations. However, it should be noted that as the network size increases, the model’s performance diminishes, resulting in reduced accuracy. Later, the accuracy of leak prediction has been evaluated by examining its sensitivity to varying numbers of sensors and different levels of noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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14 pages, 2539 KiB  
Article
Temporal Fluctuations in Household Water Consumption and Operating Pressure Related to the Error of Their Water Meters
Water 2023, 15(10), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101895 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1527
Abstract
The growing population is creating a rising demand for water, particularly in developing countries. As the urban population seeks to improve their standard of living, the authorities responsible for providing domestic utility services face increased pressure to provide higher-quality and secure services. To [...] Read more.
The growing population is creating a rising demand for water, particularly in developing countries. As the urban population seeks to improve their standard of living, the authorities responsible for providing domestic utility services face increased pressure to provide higher-quality and secure services. To meet this challenge, the performance of all systems must be improved, and a better understanding of user behavior and water consumption patterns must be achieved. Modern routing and water quality models need accurate demand information. This research will analyze household water consumption patterns over time and their correlation with pressure levels. The results will inform a new methodology for managing and delivering services, considering the global error of gauges in the study area. The goal is to ensure sufficient and effective capacity to provide appropriate services for community development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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16 pages, 3045 KiB  
Article
Optimal Near Real-Time Control of Water Distribution System Operations
Water 2023, 15(7), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071280 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1161
Abstract
The scarcity of freshwater resources, combined with deteriorating infrastructure, pushes water utilities to employ optimal operational practices to control water distribution systems (WDSs) based on objectives such as minimizing operational costs or leakages. This paper demonstrates a metaheuristic optimization framework for controlling WDS [...] Read more.
The scarcity of freshwater resources, combined with deteriorating infrastructure, pushes water utilities to employ optimal operational practices to control water distribution systems (WDSs) based on objectives such as minimizing operational costs or leakages. This paper demonstrates a metaheuristic optimization framework for controlling WDS operations in near real-time by minimizing the total energy consumption, while maintaining sustainable system conditions and operations, such as those of tanks. The proposed framework, at its core, comprises a water demand forecasting model, an optimization-based control model, and a hydraulic continuity model. The hypothesis is that WDS can be controlled more efficiently by forecasting and predicting the near future system conditions based on past and prevailing conditions. Operational time steps of 60, 30, and 15 min are considered, to evaluate the benefits of using shorter operational time steps than the conventional norm. The proposed framework is demonstrated using a small-sized benchmark WDS. The results revealed that real-time control schemes reduce the operational costs of the selected WDS by up to 17.8%, with the shortest time step scheme (15 min) offering the most reduction in operational expenses, at the cost of more computational expensiveness. This study and its findings would help utilities plan more reliable and sustainable operational schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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14 pages, 3266 KiB  
Article
An Expeditious Campaign of Field Experiments for Preliminary Analysis of the Hydraulic Behavior of Intermittent Water Distribution Networks
Water 2023, 15(6), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061102 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The paper describes the results of a field experimental campaign carried out on the intermittent water distribution system (WDS) of a small municipality in southern Italy. In a novel way, as compared to the existing literature, the monitoring campaign covered the whole cycle [...] Read more.
The paper describes the results of a field experimental campaign carried out on the intermittent water distribution system (WDS) of a small municipality in southern Italy. In a novel way, as compared to the existing literature, the monitoring campaign covered the whole cycle of operation of the WDSs. In total, 8 days of experiments were carried out between June and August of the year 2019. Simultaneous measurements of water level and outflow from the municipal reservoirs, and nodal pressures were collected in order to analyze the water distribution network (WDN) behavior during the intermittent supply. The collected data give us a proper understanding of the functioning of the WDS during the whole cycle of intermittent supply, also providing the base for future proper network modelling under intermittent operation. In addition, preliminary analysis of inequity in water distribution among users and water leakages throughout the network are derived from the collected data. Finally, limitations of the study as well as potential for future research developments are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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11 pages, 2765 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Optimal Sensor Placement in Looped Water Distribution Networks Using Different Water Quality Models
Water 2023, 15(3), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030559 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
Urban looped water distribution systems are highly vulnerable to water quality issues. They could be subject to contamination events (accidental or deliberate), compromising the water quality inside them and causing damage to the users’ health. An efficient monitoring system must be developed to [...] Read more.
Urban looped water distribution systems are highly vulnerable to water quality issues. They could be subject to contamination events (accidental or deliberate), compromising the water quality inside them and causing damage to the users’ health. An efficient monitoring system must be developed to prevent this, supported by a suitable model for assessing water quality. Currently, several studies use advective–reactive models to analyse water quality, neglecting diffusive transport, which is claimed to be irrelevant in turbulent flows. Although this may be true in simple systems, such as linear transport pipes, the presence of laminar flows in looped systems may be significant, especially at night and in the peripheral parts of the network. In this paper, a numerical optimisation approach has been compared with the results of an experimental campaign using three different numerical models as inputs (EPANET advective model, the AZRED model in which diffusion–dispersion equations have been implemented, and a new diffusive–dispersive model in dynamic conditions using the random walk method, EPANET-DD). The optimisation problem was formulated using the Monte Carlo method. The results demonstrated a significant difference in sensor placement based on the numerical model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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19 pages, 5482 KiB  
Article
Identifying Critical Isolation Valves in a Water Distribution Network: A Socio-Technical Approach
Water 2022, 14(21), 3587; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213587 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
Isolation valves are critical for the reliable functioning of water distribution networks (WDNs). However, it is challenging for utilities to prioritize valve rehabilitation and replacement given it is often unclear if certain valves are operable in a given WDN. This study uses the [...] Read more.
Isolation valves are critical for the reliable functioning of water distribution networks (WDNs). However, it is challenging for utilities to prioritize valve rehabilitation and replacement given it is often unclear if certain valves are operable in a given WDN. This study uses the Gomory–Hu tree of the segment-valve representation (or dual representation) of WDNs to obtain the logical implications of inoperable valves (i.e., which segments should be isolated and merged unnecessarily due to valve inoperability). Multi-objective optimization is then used to identify the critical valves based on selected attributes (e.g., social vulnerability, flow volume) of segments that would be unnecessarily isolated as a result. This study developed three multi-objective formulations: first, deterministic; second, accounting for uncertainty; and third, accounting for both uncertainty and the likelihood of failure of pipes within segments. Identified critical valves are compared between the three developed formulations and a method considering only a single objective. Results demonstrated that multi-objective optimization provided additional information which can be used to discern valve importance for utilities in comparison with using a single objective. Further, though there was overlap between the results from the three formulations, the third formulation provided the most insight without overwhelming decision-makers with a large number of identified valves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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18 pages, 2455 KiB  
Article
Combining Statistical Clustering with Hydraulic Modeling for Resilient Reduction of Water Losses in Water Distribution Networks: Large Scale Application Study in the City of Patras in Western Greece
Water 2022, 14(21), 3493; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213493 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Partitioning of water distribution networks (WDNs) into pressure management areas (PMAs) or district metered areas (DMAs) is the most widely applied method for the efficient management and reduction of real losses (leakages). Although PMA partitioning is a crucial task, most clustering methods are [...] Read more.
Partitioning of water distribution networks (WDNs) into pressure management areas (PMAs) or district metered areas (DMAs) is the most widely applied method for the efficient management and reduction of real losses (leakages). Although PMA partitioning is a crucial task, most clustering methods are strongly affected by user-defined weighting factors that heavily affect the final outcome while being associated with heavy computational loads, leading to time-consuming applications. In this work, we use hierarchical clustering enriched with topological proximity constraints to develop an approach for the optimal sizing and allocation of PMAs (or DMAs) in water distribution networks that seeks to minimize water leakages while maintaining a sufficient level of hydraulic resilience. To quantify the latter, we introduce a resilience index that accounts for water leakages and nodal heads in pressure-driven and mixed pressure-demand ways, respectively. The strong points of the introduced approach are that (1) it uses the original pipeline grid as a connectivity matrix in order to avoid unrealistic clustering outcomes; (2) it is statistically rigorous and user unbiased as it is based solely on statistical metrics, thus not relying on and/or being affected by user-defined weighting factors; and (3) it is easy and fast to implement, requiring minimal processing power. The effectiveness of the developed methodology is tested in a large-scale application study in four PMAs (namely Boud, Kentro, Panahaiki, and Prosfygika) of the city of Patras in western Greece, which cover the entire city center and the most important part of the urban fabric of Patras, consisting of approximately 202 km of pipeline and serving approximately 58,000 consumers. Due to its simplicity, minimal computational requirements, and objective selection criteria, the suggested clustering approach for WDN partitioning can serve as an important step toward developing useful decision-making frameworks for water experts and officials, allowing for improved management and reduction of real water losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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15 pages, 6880 KiB  
Article
Determination of Pipeline Leaks Based on the Analysis the Hurst Exponent of Acoustic Signals
Water 2022, 14(19), 3190; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193190 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Currently, acoustic methods are widely used as a way to detect pipeline leaks. This is due to the fact that the acoustic signal has sufficiently capacious information about the state of the pipeline. The effectiveness of acoustic monitoring depends on the correct extraction [...] Read more.
Currently, acoustic methods are widely used as a way to detect pipeline leaks. This is due to the fact that the acoustic signal has sufficiently capacious information about the state of the pipeline. The effectiveness of acoustic monitoring depends on the correct extraction of this information from the diagnostic signal. Currently, there is a search for new, more effective methods for analyzing acoustic signals. The article proposes to apply the theory of fractals to determine pipeline leaks. One of the most accurate methods for determining the fractal dimension of time series is R/S analysis using the Hurst exponent. An experimental stand has been developed and created, which includes a steel pipeline with water circulating in it. Water leakage from the pipeline was simulated by installing discs with holes of different diameters. The discs were placed in a special fitting on the surface of the pipeline. Acoustic signals recorded from the pipeline surface at different leakages and water pressure were analyzed. A relationship has been established between the size of the leak and the Hurst exponent of acoustic signals. The proposed method is compared with spectral analysis. Empirical experience has proven that R/S analysis can be used to determine pipeline leaks, as well as their classification by size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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11 pages, 1786 KiB  
Article
A Novel EPANET Integration for the Diffusive–Dispersive Transport of Contaminants
Water 2022, 14(17), 2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172707 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
The EPANET model is commonly used to model hydraulic behaviour and water quality within water distribution networks. The standard version of the model solves the advective transport equation by solving a mass balance of the fundamental plug flow substance that considers the advective [...] Read more.
The EPANET model is commonly used to model hydraulic behaviour and water quality within water distribution networks. The standard version of the model solves the advective transport equation by solving a mass balance of the fundamental plug flow substance that considers the advective transport and kinetic reaction processes. Over the years, several versions of the model have been developed, which have made it possible to improve the modelling of water quality through the introduction of additional terms within the transport equation to solve the problem of dispersive transport (EPANET-AZRED) and to consider multiple interacting species in the mass flow and on the pipe walls (EPANET multi-species extension). The present study proposes a novel integration of the EPANET-DD (dynamic-dispersion) model, which enables the advective–diffusive–dispersive transport equation in dynamic flow conditions to be solved in the two-dimensional case, through the classical random walk method, implementing the diffusion and dispersion equations proposed by Romero-Gomez and Choi (2011). The model was applied to the University of Enna “KORE” laboratory network to verify its effectiveness in modelling diffusive–dispersive transport mechanisms in the presence of variable flow regimes. The results showed that the EPANET-DD model could better represent the actual data than previously developed versions of the EPANET model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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17 pages, 3772 KiB  
Article
New Challenges towards Smart Systems’ Efficiency by Digital Twin in Water Distribution Networks
Water 2022, 14(8), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14081304 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4192
Abstract
Nowadays, in the management of water distribution networks (WDNs), particular attention is paid to digital transition and the improvement of the energy efficiency of these systems. New technologies have been developed in the recent years and their implementation can be crucial to achieve [...] Read more.
Nowadays, in the management of water distribution networks (WDNs), particular attention is paid to digital transition and the improvement of the energy efficiency of these systems. New technologies have been developed in the recent years and their implementation can be crucial to achieve a sustainable level of water networks, namely, in water and energy losses. In particular, Digital Twins (DT) represents a very innovative technology, which relies on the integration of virtual network models, optimization algorithms, real time data collection, and smart actuators information with Geographic Information System (GIS) data. This research defines a new methodology for an efficient application of DT expertise within water distribution networks. Assuming a DMA of a real water distribution network as a case study, it was demonstrated that a fast detection of leakage along with an optimal setting of pressure control valves by means of DT together with an optimization procedure can ensure up to 28% of water savings, contributing to significantly increase the efficiency of the whole system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Networks Modelling and Monitoring, Volume II)
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