This paper proposes a short-term water demand forecasting method based on the use of the Markov chain. This method provides estimates of future demands by calculating probabilities that the future demand value will fall within pre-assigned intervals covering the expected total variability. More specifically, two models based on homogeneous and non-homogeneous Markov chains were developed and presented. These models, together with two benchmark models (based on artificial neural network and naïve methods), were applied to three real-life case studies for the purpose of forecasting the respective water demands from 1 to 24 h ahead. The results obtained show that the model based on a homogeneous Markov chain provides more accurate short-term forecasts than the one based on a non-homogeneous Markov chain, which is in line with the artificial neural network model. Both Markov chain models enable probabilistic information regarding the stochastic demand forecast to be easily obtained.
- Markov chain
- Water demand