Optimal pressure management in water distribution networks through district metered area creation based on machine learning

ABSTRACT Integrated management of water supply systems with efficient use of natural resources requires optimization of operational performances. Dividing the water supply networks into small units, so-called district metered areas (DMAs), is a strategy that allows the development of specific operational rules, responsible for improving the network performance. In this context, clustering methods congregate neighboring nodes in groups according to similar features, such as elevation or distance to the water source. Taking into account hydraulic, operational and mathematical criteria to determine the configuration of DMAs, this work presents the k-means model and a hybrid model, that combines a self-organizing map (SOM) with the k-means algorithm, as clustering methods, comparing four mathematical criteria to determine the number of DMAs, namely Silhouette, GAP, Calinski-Harabasz and Davies Bouldin. The influence of three clustering topological criteria is evaluated: the water demand, node elevation and pipe length, in order to determine the optimal number of clusters. Furthermore, to identify the best DMA configuration, the particle swarm optimization (PSO) method was applied to determine the number, cost, pressure setting of Pressure Reducing Valves and location of DMA entrances.