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f) How long does the water stay in the system before its consumption?

These, and many other questions, require answers in order to ensure the correct
operation of the system, its security and its reliability. Nevertheless the mathematical
models used to solve these problems are quite different. For example, the determination
of new diameters, question e, is accomplished by means of an static model, while
knowing what transient happens after a pipe's failure,question d, needs a "dynamic and
elastic" model.

The main goal of this article is to present, from a qualitative and operative point of
view, the different models with their corresponding applications, without giving
excessive detail about the mathematical equations and the methods used for solving
these equations as well.

Each one of them has clearly delimited the applications in which they can be used,
although the dynamic elastic model is the most general one, covering all the others as
particular cases. It is also true that in most applications the practical assumptions allows
us to simplify the equations, without loss of engineering quality in the results, thus
making the resulting simplified models more operative and efficient.

In fact, some authors (Koelle (1989 recommend the use of a unique model as an
envelope of the all existing ones. This option is rarely chosen in practice because the
static models are used to analyze in great detail most of the network when the main
variables change with time very slowly. By the other hand, the inertial and elastic
models are used to analyze sudden changes of pressure and flow in the network's mains.

It can be understood that a complex model applied to a system that includes most of the
network's pipes, turns out to be less efficient.

It is also very important to take into account that talking about real networks, either
static or dynamic analysis, implies having undertaken and solved the adjustment problem
previously (Martinez et al. (1993. The adjustment process enables us to estimate the
equivalent real data of the network, so that the results obtained analytically from the
model are equal to the measured ones (pressure and flow) on the network . In case of
new pipes their characteristic are well known and any adjustment is needed. But in case
of old networks a previous calibration stage is necessary in order to know the real data,
because diameters and, mainly, roughness can change with years (much more in 50 years
old water distribution systems). Besides" the consumption at the nodes varying with
time, has a lot of uncertainties.