Technical and Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Water Distribution Systems

Nazli Yonca Aydin, Larry Mays, Theo Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


An environmental and technical sustainability assessment methodology is developed for both centralized and dual water distribution systems (WDSs) with and without fire flow scenarios. Technical sustainability of potable and reclaimed water networks is measured by a sustainability index (SI) assessment using reliability, resiliency, and vulnerability performance criteria. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPANET software is used to simulate hydraulic (i.e. nodal pressure) and water quality (i.e. water age) analysis in a WDS. Total fresh water use and total energy intensity are considered as environmental sustainability criteria. The procedure considers two separate alternatives for meeting fire flows: (1) adding pumping to a system or (2) adding a non-potable WDS. The reclaimed system is designed using linear programming (LP) optimization. For each alternative, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is used to combine technical and environmental sustainability criteria for an urban WDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4699-4713
Number of pages15
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Dual water distribution systems
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Optimization
  • Scenario analysis
  • Sustainable urban water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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