Getting a grip on water demand to promote the sustainability of drinking water installations and networks


Our water consumption is predictable. After getting up in the morning most people use the toilet. They take a shower or a bath, or do so before going to bed at night. We also brush our teeth and wash ourselves following an established pattern. SIMDEUM (SIMulation of water Demand, and End-Use Model) combines the predictability of human behaviour with statistics on water consumption and the technical specifications of installations. This gives us a grip on water demand.

The high reliability of SIMDEUM makes it possible to design sustainable, hygienic and energy-efficient drinking water installations. This applies both to domestic and other environments, and has no negative impact on water quality or comfort. Moreover, the tool supports the implementation and development of models to ensure constant water quality in distribution networks.

SIMDEUM users decide – possibly in consultation with KWR experts – on the right input parameters, after which the tool’s simulations lead to a set of drinking water demand patterns. This provides the basis for the desired design. SIMDEUM can help promote the sustainability of drinking water installations and distribution networks in any country or region, and for any type of building.

Better assessment of hydraulic conditions

An in-depth understanding of the hydraulics of water distribution networks requires more than a series of measurements. The variations of water demand in time and place are simply too great to be determined. A reliable model using a precise scale would offer a solution: SIMDEUM is such a model. It can make much better assessments of the actual hydraulic conditions than has so far been possible.

SIMDEUM provides more realistic hydraulic models, which makes it easier to interpret water quality measurements in the distribution network. This also allows for better predictions of the water quality in the network. Using the improved hydraulic models produced by SIMDEUM, one can also implement and develop water quality models in the drinking water network.

Scientific knowledge is vital to the further reinforcement of this tool. Universities are invited to use SIMDEUM and a special Memorandum of Understanding has been drawn up for this purpose. Naturally SIMDEUM is part of Watershare®: the international knowledge sharing network for the water sector.

SIMDEUM in practice

The variety of SIMDEUM’s practical applications demonstrate its widespread utility

The Dunea water company is currently using SIMDEUM as the basis for its design guidelines for self-cleaning networks. The company requires estimates of the maximum water demand for 100 to 200 different customer connections. The simulation results form the basis for the networks’ ultimate design.

The Dutch Building Services Knowledge Centre (ISSO) is the country’s main quality assurance centre for drinking water installations, in both residential and other buildings. In setting its guidelines for hot and cold water systems, ISSO relies on the results of the SIMDEUM simulations. The last revision of ISSO 55 incorporates design rules based on SIMDEUM. The water worksheets also refer to this publication.

Wageningen University has used SIMDEUM in a study into alternatives to drinking water – such as greywater and rainwater – for purposes of toilet flushing. This confirms the tool’s utility in promoting sustainability.