A Practical Optimization Scheme for Real-Time Operation of Water Distribution Systems

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Pump scheduling is a key element in water distribution systems operation. Modeling this problem requires a mixed integer nonlinear program (MINLP) formulation. Even linearization schemes of mixed integer linear programs (MILPs) are typically beyond the capability of real-time optimization frameworks. In this study, we explore different levels of MILP approximations by reducing the number of binary decision variables (i.e., different binarization levels). In addition, we present a simple demand forecast model and evaluate the performance and approximation accuracy of the suggested approach in a real-time optimization framework under a receding horizon operation mode. The results show that the balance between approximation accuracy and solution efficiency is biased. That is, a simple low-accuracy approximation may yield an efficient and practical solution algorithm that results in a near-optimal solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04020016
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management - ASCE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israeli Water Authority (Contract number 4501284516).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Demand forecast
  • Model predictive control
  • Pump scheduling
  • Real time
  • Water network operation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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