Water utilities in most of the developing countries follow complex operation techniques for the distribution of available amounts of water, e.g. intermittent water supply. This is driven by different factors such as: increasing water demands in parallel with water scarcity conditions and technical and economic deficiencies. This approach is counterproductive to the objectives of water supply networks and has numerous associated failures like: inequitable distribution of water, risks on public health and increasing the rates of assets deterioration or the high rates of bursts as a result of pressure fluctuations. One of the major promising approaches toward mitigation of the previously mentioned deficiencies is the promotion of water loss management practices.
This study provides methodologies to assist water utilities in the developing countries to manage water losses in water supply networks by:
1. Introducing the principles and applications of multi-criteria decision making techniques in water loss management practices to improve the planning policies of water utilities, reach a better control over water losses based on consensus and transparent decisions, increase the efficiency of water utilities and improve water supply services.
2. Developing an efficient decision support framework to manage water losses by:
– developing a multi criteria decision making framework with the purpose of selecting the most appropriate strategies to manage water losses and,
– developing a framework to identify the zones within water supply networks that have high priority in terms of water losses with an aim of applying the selected best strategy over zones with high criticality of water losses.
3. Demonstrating the proof-of-concept of the developed frameworks by applying them to real–world case studies.
This work will be of interest for policy makers, water utilities and researchers who have concerns in the field of water loss management, and provides a source of tools and methodologies with potential to address the different challenges associated with water loss management practices, essentially in the developing countries.