Uniformity and Heuristics-Based DeNSE Method for Sectorization of Water Distribution Networks

Željko Vasilic, Miloš Stanic, Zoran Kapelan, Dušan Prodanovic, Branislav Babic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Sectorization of a water distribution network (WDN) into district metered areas (DMAs) is a proven solution for proactive leakage control. Traditionally, WDN sectorization is conducted by local experts using a trial-and-error approach, often resulting in the identification of arbitrary solutions. Some recently published methods try to improve WDN sectorization by automating the process, especially by using optimization. Various sectorization criteria, constraints, and limitations are introduced, which often fail to consider the issues faced by poorly managed WDNs such as limited funds and shortage of water balance data. These methods also have poor computational efficiency imposed by optimization methods used. This paper presents a new distribution network sectorization method (DeNSE), that overcomes these deficiencies. This method is based on a heuristic procedure in which WDN sectorization is driven by efficient tracking of water balance data and determining the lowest cost investment needed to maintain the same level of operational performance. The above-mentioned set of criteria is particularly well suited for initial sectorization of WDNs when major uncertainties in water balance data often lead to poor management decisions. The DeNSE method is validated and benchmarked against other sectorization methodologies in a case study of a large, real-world WDN. The results show that DeNSE can identify sound, realistic sectorization solutions that are in some respects better than corresponding solutions reported in the literature. DeNSE also enables high computational efficiency, ensuring its applicability to real-world WDNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04019079
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Distribution network sectorization (DeNSE)
  • District metered areas (DMA)
  • Sectorization
  • Uniformity
  • Water distribution network (WDN)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Uniformity and Heuristics-Based DeNSE Method for Sectorization of Water Distribution Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this