Optimisation of Water Loss Management Strategies: Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Approaches
Kadenge, Maselle Joseph
Masanja, Verdiana Grace
Mkandawile, Mashaka James
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Water loss in the water distribution systems (WDS) is a challenge to many water authorities in the world but the problem is crucial in the less developed countries. The effect of water losses in the WDS includes the reduction in the revenue and availability of water, interruption in the quality of water, and inflation of the operation and maintenance cost of the water authorities. Using data from the Moshi Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MUWSA) Tanzania, an assessment of strategies used for water loss management (WLM) was carried out through an integrated model of Multi- Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) and Integer Linear Programming (ILP) which is an optimisation technique. The family of MCDM methods, Multi-Attribute Value Theory (MAVT), Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique Exploiting Ranks (SMARTER), and Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) were employed to assess and prioritise the strategies while the ILP was used to formulate a decision model. The model was used to select a portfolio of the best strategies. Sixteen strategies were identified. The results show that the comparison between the bulk meter and customers’ meter on detecting the physical or apparent losses was ranked as the best strategy in managing the loss while the network zoning was ranked as the worst strategy. The model selected thirteen out of sixteen strategies to form the portfolio of the best strategies to be employed by the MUWSA for water loss management. Furthermore, the model was found to be robust as the selected portfolio of strategies remained the same even when the weights of the criteria were changed. The developed model in this study will assist the decision-makers to assess, prioritise and choose the best strategies for reducing or controlling water loss in the distribution system.