Water distribution system facilities, including desalination as well as water and wastewater treatment plants, are energy-intensive infrastructure that account for considerable electricity consumption in many countries. Traditionally, however, power and water infrastructure have been designed and operated as separate systems, leaving an untapped opportunity for enhancing the energy and economic efficiency of both systems.

Our research investigates the energy-water nexus in the context of co-optimizing the operation of interdependent power and water infrastructure, and develops models for integrating the energy flexibility of water distribution infrastructure (e.g., water pumps, tanks, treatment and desalination plants) in power systems operation. The proposed models ensure the deliverability of the scheduled energy flexibility for the water equipment by considering the detailed hydraulic constraints of water distribution networks.

Co-Optimized operation of interdependent power and water distribution systems

Select Publication

  • K. Oikonomou, M. Parvania, “Optimal Coordination of Water Distribution Energy Flexibility with Power Systems Operation,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 1101–1110, 2019. DOI
  • K. Oikonomou, M. Parvania, R. Khatami, “Optimal Demand Response Scheduling for Water Distribution Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 5112-5122, 2018. DOI
  • S. Shin, S. Lee, D. R. Judi, M. Parvania, E. Goharian, T. McPherson, S. J. Burian, “A Systematic Review of Quantitative Resilience Measures for Water Infrastructure Systems,” Water, vol. 10, no. 2, 2018. DOI
  • K. Oikonomou, M. Parvania, S. Burian, “Integrating Water Distribution Energy Flexibility in Power Systems Operation,” in Proc. IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, Chicago, IL, July 16-20, 2017. DOI

Funded Research Projects

  • Smart Water Data Acquisition and Analytics Technologies for Improving Efficiency of Water and Power Network Operations, Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, 2017-2018.
  • Integrated energy-water efficiency and optimization in smart cities, Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, 2017.
  • Hierarchical Resiliency Control for Smart Cities, University of Utah Research Foundation, 2016-2017.


Prof. Steven Burian (University of Utah), Prof. Bei Wang (University of Utah)