Standard Article

Design of Water Distribution Systems

Municipal Water Supply

  1. Srinivasa Lingireddy,
  2. Lindell E. Ormsbee,
  3. Don J. Wood,
  4. D. Ramalingam

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.mw331

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Lingireddy, S., Ormsbee, L. E., Wood, D. J. and Ramalingam, D. 2005. Design of Water Distribution Systems. Water Encyclopedia. 1:207–213.

Author Information

  1. University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


The ultimate goal of drinking water utilities is to provide adequate quantities of water to its consumers while maintaining satisfactory pressures throughout the distribution system. Efficient design of water distribution system components is an important step that allows not only achieving this goal but also enabling the utilities to provide water at affordable costs. Design of water distribution systems is a complex and tedious process. Several optimization techniques have been reported in literature to automate and reduce the complexity of the design process. However, lack of robust optimization platforms that allow specification of preferred objective functions and desired combinations of constraints and decision variables have seriously limited the use of available optimization technology for water distribution systems design. This article presents a comprehensive iterative method that makes use of a hydraulic network model for design of water distribution systems. The article describes various components of a water distribution system that would affect the design process along with a list of constraints that should be considered for efficient design. Although the procedure presented is for design of new water distribution systems, the method can be easily adapted for sizing enhancements to existing systems.


  • water quality;
  • fire protection;
  • reliability;
  • surge protection;
  • optimization;
  • diurnal demand variation;
  • rural water systems