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Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Nov 17;49(22):13724-32. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03666. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Investigation of Cost and Energy Optimization of Drinking Water Distribution Systems.

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MWH Americas, Inc. , 300 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101, United States.
Derceto, Ltd. , 63 Albert Street, Auckland 1141, New Zealand.
The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, United States.


Holistic management of water and energy resources through energy and water quality management systems (EWQMSs) have traditionally aimed at energy cost reduction with limited or no emphasis on energy efficiency or greenhouse gas minimization. This study expanded the existing EWQMS framework and determined the impact of different management strategies for energy cost and energy consumption (e.g., carbon footprint) reduction on system performance at two drinking water utilities in California (United States). The results showed that optimizing for cost led to cost reductions of 4% (Utility B, summer) to 48% (Utility A, winter). The energy optimization strategy was successfully able to find the lowest energy use operation and achieved energy usage reductions of 3% (Utility B, summer) to 10% (Utility A, winter). The findings of this study revealed that there may be a trade-off between cost optimization (dollars) and energy use (kilowatt-hours), particularly in the summer, when optimizing the system for the reduction of energy use to a minimum incurred cost increases of 64% and 184% compared with the cost optimization scenario. Water age simulations through hydraulic modeling did not reveal any adverse effects on the water quality in the distribution system or in tanks from pump schedule optimization targeting either cost or energy minimization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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