Hydraulic Modelling for Leakage Reduction in Water Distribution Systems Through Pressure Control

Majed O. Alsaydalani1, *

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 7398 Makkah, Saudi Arabia

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© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 7398 Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Ext.1865; Tel: +966125270000; E-mail:



Leakage in a water distribution network makes up a significant amount of loss. In certain countries, this loss represents 40% to 50% of the supplied water, whereas the global average for most systems is estimated at around 30%. Furthermore, water demand is increasing as a result of population growth, while resources are dwindling.


This study used hydraulic modelling for leakage reduction through pressure control. For this purpose, a hydraulic model was created using the software EPANET for a selected water distribution network in a district-metered zone in Jeddah. The model was calibrated and validated for the district-metered zone using data obtained by SCADA. Pressure management using a pressure-reduction valve was then implemented to control the amount of leakage in water distribution systems.


The preliminary findings show that pressure optimization was required as there were nodes within the network that had excessive pressure. Application of pressure management to the district metered zone showed that the reduction in water pressure from 5 bar to 2 bar resulted in an immediate reduction in water losses. The leakage volume through the district-metered area at the time of maximum pressure dropped by 10% after pressure reduction. Simultaneously, the minimum required pressure was upheld at each demand node, preventing any lack of pressure in the water distribution system.


The results indicated that pressure control should be integrated with hydraulic modelling for effective leakage reduction. This research could help water-supply companies as a support tool for planning and managing leakage in water distribution systems.

Keywords: Leakage reduction, Hydraulic modelling, Pressure control, Water distribution systems, Wasted water, Environmental health.