Exploring Optimal Pump Scheduling in Water Distribution Networks with Branch and Bound Methods

Ruben Menke, Edo Abraham, Panos Parpas, Ivan Stoianov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Water utilities can achieve significant savings in operating costs by optimising pump scheduling to improve efficiency and shift electricity consumption to low-tariff periods. Due to the complexity of the optimal scheduling problem, heuristic methods that cannot guarantee global optimality are often applied. This paper investigates formulations of the pump scheduling problem solved using a branch and bound method. Piecewise linear component approximations outperform non-linear approximations within application driven accuracy bounds and demand uncertainties. It is shown that the reduction of symmetry through the grouping of pumps significantly reduces the computational effort, whereas loops in the network have the opposite effect. The computational effort of including convex, non-linear pump operating, and maintenance cost functions is investigated. Using case studies, it is shown that linear and fixed-cost functions can be used to find schedules which, when simulated in a full hydraulic simulation, have performances that are within the solver optimality gap and the uncertainty of demand forecasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5333-5349
Number of pages17
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Branch and bound
  • Looped network models
  • Mixed integer programming
  • Pump scheduling
  • Water distribution systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Optimal Pump Scheduling in Water Distribution Networks with Branch and Bound Methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this