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Journal of Hydroinformatics Vol 12 No 2 pp 150–160 © IWA Publishing 2010 doi:10.2166/hydro.2009.080

Cost and reliability comparison between branched and looped water supply networks

J. B. Martínez

Centro de Investigaciones Hidráulicas (CIH), Instituto Superior Politécnico “José Antonio Echeverría” (CUJAE), Calle 114 no. 11901 e/119 y 127, Marianao, La Habana CP, 19390, Cuba Tel.: +537 260 1416; +537 260 3636 Fax: +537 267 2013 E-mail: bienvenido@cih.cujae.edu.cu


A new design methodology recently introduced for looped networks is now applied to branched networks. The methodology is based on cost analysis minimisation, network mathematical simulation under normal and failure states and reliability estimates. It is capable of obtaining not only an adequate value for the global reliability of a network but also the appropiate total design demand. This paper then presents a deeper insight into the comparison between looped and branched networks by applying the methodology to both types of networks and comparing the results in terms of cost and reliability. Considerations regarding available reliability definitions are also included which seem to favor volume-type definitions in practice. Results provide a rational foundation to reveal the superiority of looped networks over comparable branched networks by applying quantitative cost evaluations.

Keywords: branched networks; economic analysis; network design; network reliability; optimization; water supply

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