American Society of Civil Engineers

Planning and Operation of Large-Scale Water Distribution Systems with Preemptive Priorities

by Mario T. L. Barros, M.ASCE, (Prof. and Chair, Dept. of Hydr. and Sanitary Engrg., Polytechnic School of Engrg., Univ. of São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:, Renato C. Zambon, (Researcher and Grad. Student, Dept. of Hydr. and Sanitary Engrg., Univ. of São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:, Paulo S. F. Barbosa, (Prof., Civ. Engrg. School, State Univ. of Campinas, Brazil. E-mail:, and William W.-G. Yeh, (Distinguished Prof. and Chair, Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Univ. of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail:

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Vol. 134, No. 3, May/June 2008, pp. 247-256, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper describes the development of an optimization model for the management and operation of a large-scale, multireservoir water supply distribution system with preemptive priorities. The model considers multiobjectives and hedging rules. During periods of drought, when water supply is insufficient to meet the planned demand, appropriate rationing factors are applied to reduce water supply. In this paper, a water distribution system is formulated as a network and solved by the GAMS modeling system for mathematical programming and optimization. A user-friendly interface is developed to facilitate the manipulation of data and to generate graphs and tables for decision makers. The optimization model and its interface form a decision support system (DSS), which can be used to configure a water distribution system to facilitate capacity expansion and reliability studies. Several examples are presented to demonstrate the utility and versatility of the developed DSS under different supply and demand scenarios, including applications to one of the largest water supply systems in the world, the São Paulo Metropolitan Area Water Supply Distribution System in Brazil.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Multiple objective analysis
Water distribution systems