Development of optimal pump schedules for improved energy efficiency in water supply systems (case of NWSC)

  • Samuel Kikomeko
  • Jotham Sempewo
Keywords: DMA (District Metered Area), NWSC (National Water and Sewerage Corporation), Gabba Muyenga Supply system, SD (Scheduling Decisions)


The water utility in Uganda (NWSC) was under pressure from regulators, environmentalists and board members to reduce energy costs. However, achieving energy efficiency in the water distribution systems of Kampala that is characterized by variable demands and prescribed pressures would be impossible if this utility continued operating on trial and error methods. This research was undertaken in the year 2016-2017 and aimed at exploring how pump schedule optimization could enable NWSC to deal with the challenge of high energy costs and improve water utility performance. In this research, the energy consumption of existing pumps was obtained from historical data, data was diagnosed and based on the diagnostic findings, decision variables were selected and optimal pump schedules were formulated. The formulated schedules were applied to the Gabba Muyenga supply system of National Water and Sewerage Company (Uganda) as a proof of concept. The formulated pump schedules when applied on different pumps classified as models 1, 2 and 3 based on pump flow ratings and motor voltage ratings, results show that scheduling pump operations based on time of the day tariffs enabled NWSC to save about 0.373 Million kWh annually. On the other hand pump scheduling based on pressure, modulation had the potential to reduce water losses enabling NWSC to save 12 m3/hr equivalent to 0.068 million kWh per year in energy terms without compromising customer service levels and this was only for the established DMA within the case study area and not for the entire NWSC water distribution network. The data presented were obtained through field measurements, statistical analysis and hydraulic design calculations


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631