Optimization methodology for estimating pump curves using SCADA data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Water distribution systems (WDSs) deliver water from sources to consumers. These systems are made of hydraulic elements such as reservoirs, tanks, pipes, valves, and pumps. A pump is characterized by curves which define the relationship of the pump’s head gain and efficiency with its flow. For a new pump, the curves are provided by the manufacturer. However, due to its operating history, the performance of a pump deteriorates, and its curves decline at an estimated rate of about 1% per year. Pump curves are key elements for planning and management of WDSs and for monitoring system efficiency, to determine when a pump should be rehabilitated or replaced. In practice, determining pump curves is done by field tests, which are conducted every few years. This leaves the pump’s performance unmonitored for long time periods. Moreover, these tests often cover only a small range of the curves. This study demonstrates that in the era of IoT and big data, the data collected by Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems can be used to continuously monitor pumps’ performance and derive updated pump characteristic curves. We present and demonstrate a practical methodology to estimate fixed and variable speed pump curves in pumping stations. The proposed method can estimate individual pump curves even when the measurements are given only for the pumping station as a whole (i.e., total flow, pumping station head gain). The methodology is demonstrated in a real-world case study of a pumping station in southern Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number586
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This study was supported by the Israeli Water Authority. The help and support of Mey-Sheva management and staff is highly appreciated.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Pump curves
  • Pump monitoring by SCADA
  • Water distribution systems modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization methodology for estimating pump curves using SCADA data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this