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Some reflections on the building and calibration of useful network models

Burrows, R. and Tanyimboh, T. T. and Tabesh, M. (2000) Some reflections on the building and calibration of useful network models. In: International Symposium on Water Network Modelling for Optimal Design and Management, 2000-09-11 - 2000-09-12.

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Over the past 10 years or so in the UK much effort has gone into the construction of computerised network models of water supply and distribution networks. At best such models offer an approximation of reality, their performance in simulation being constrained, in many cases, by the uncertainties present in the data upon which they were compiled. Most notable are the problems of demand specification, including leakage evaluation. In the UK this exercise is compounded by the unmetered nature of most domestic consumption. Reconciliation of the output of this process is invariably and inextricably linked to such matters as flow-meter accuracy, network and district metered area (DMA) connectivity, and monitored pressure regime, as well as precision in property allocation and quality of billing records. For large networks the task of the modeller is most arduous since the exercise of pipe calibration, leading to production of the 'verified' model, is itself highly dependent upon the distribution of flows generated in the network. The paper elaborates on these problems and introduces outlines for systematic treatments of the data reconciliation processes, with the aim of producing usable models which 'best' represent reality from the information available.