Optimal water-power flow-problem: Formulation and distributed optimal solution

Ahmed S. Zamzam, Emiliano Dall'Anese, Changhong Zhao, Josh A. Taylor, Nicholas D. Sidiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This paper formalizes an optimal water-power flow (OWPF) problem to optimize the use of controllable assets across power and water systems while accounting for the couplings between the two infrastructures. Tanks and pumps are optimally managed to satisfy water demand while improving power grid operations; for the power network, an ac optimal power-flow formulation is augmented to accommodate the controllability of water pumps. Unfortunately, the physics governing the operation of the two infrastructures and coupling constraints leads to a nonconvex (and, in fact, NP-hard) problem; however, after reformulating OWPF as a nonconvex, quadratically constrained quadratic problem, a feasible point pursuit-successive convex approximation approach is used to identify feasible and optimal solutions. In addition, a distributed solver based on the alternating direction method of multipliers enables water and power operators to pursue individual objectives while respecting the couplings between the two networks. The merits of the proposed approach are demonstrated for the case of a distribution feeder coupled with a municipal water distribution network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8255656
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


  • Distributed algorithms
  • optimal power flow
  • optimal water flow
  • power systems
  • successive convex approximation (SCA)
  • water systems


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