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A Critical Review of Short-Term Water Demand Forecasting Tools—What Method Should I Use?

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Niknam, A 
Zare, HK 
Hosseininasab, H 
Mostafaeipour, A 
Herrera, M 


jats:pThe challenge for city authorities goes beyond managing growing cities, since as cities develop, their exposure to climate change effects also increases. In this scenario, urban water supply is under unprecedented pressure, and the sustainable management of the water demand, in terms of practices including economic, social, environmental, production, and other fields, is becoming a must for utility managers and policy makers. To help tackle these challenges, this paper presents a well-timed review of predictive methods for short-term water demand. For this purpose, over 100 articles were selected from the articles published in water demand forecasting from 2010 to 2021 and classified upon the methods they use. In principle, the results show that traditional time series methods and artificial neural networks are among the most widely used methods in the literature, used in 25% and 20% of the articles in this review. However, the ultimate goal of the current work goes further, providing a comprehensive guideline for engineers and practitioners on selecting a forecasting method to use among the plethora of available options. The overall document results in an innovative reference tool, ready to support demand-informed decision making for disruptive technologies such as those coming from the Internet of Things and cyber–physical systems, as well as from the use of digital twin models of water infrastructure. On top of this, this paper includes a thorough review of how sustainable management objectives have evolved in a new era of technological developments, transforming data acquisition and treatment.</jats:p>



water demand, sustainable management, water demand forecasting, predictive analytics, water supply, smart water networks, digital water

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Sustainability (Switzerland)

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