The key to minimising costs and increasing water efficiency in an irrigation distribution system is having the correct delivery strategy, that answers the following questions:

How much water will be needed at the head of the distribution system? How much water should I release from the storages to satisfy demand and/or environmental flows? What should be the storage filling regimes? Which control structures should be activated? And when?

Those are common problems in any distribution system, open channel or pressurised. And where pumps need to be activated to distribute the water through pipes, additional factors have to be taken into account: the energy consumed by the pumps and the energy cost.


HydrOptim is a key decision support tool for the optimisation of the operation of hydraulic distribution systems that aims to increase efficiency and reduce operational expenditure related to water and energy while satisfying the water demand and respecting the system physical constraints.

HydrOptim is based on a control-oriented modelling approach where the irrigation system is modelled as composed of a set of constitutive elements (dams, channels, pipes, gates and pumps, hydroelectric stations, etc.) with a set of physical parameters. The user can draw the distribution system just by dragging & dropping the elements in the model builder.

HydrOptim Model Builder

The distribution system can be easily modelled by the user

Then, after the initial conditions and the optimisation objectives are set, the model is transformed into a set of numerical equations in a format that can be understood by a mathematical solver. The result from the solver is the optimal distribution plan throughout all the components of the system for the next period.

It can be used in two modes of operation: simulation mode, using historical data to feed real or user-designed scenarios; and on-line mode where incoming data is fed from real-time data from the telemetry and water ordering system, among others.

In the short-term, HydrOptim provides the optimal distribution schedule of water in an irrigation system. In the medium- and long-term, it can support planning decisions such as water allocation, system capacity upgrades, modernisation investments, energy billing and others.

HydrOptim has been developed by ADASA with the partnership of the Advance Control Systems group of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. This R&D collaboration will enable HydrOptim to continuously evolve to develop new library components and multi-objective cost functions for optimising water supply, sewage systems, hydraulic infrastructures, hydropower, etc.