In this paper, a modeling-identification approach for the monthly municipal water demand system in Hail region, Saudi Arabia, is developed. This approach is based on an auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model tuned by the particle swarm optimization (PSO). The ARIMA (p, d, q) modeling requires estimation of the integer orders p and q of the AR and MA parts; and the real coefficients of the model. More than being simple, easy to implement and effective, the PSO-ARIMA model does not require data pre-processing (original time-series normalization for artificial neural network (ANN) or data stationarization for traditional stochastic time-series (STS)). Moreover, its performance indicators such as the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), coefficient of determination (R2), root mean squared error (RMSE) and average absolute relative error (AARE) are compared with those of ANN and STS. The obtained results show that the PSO-ARIMA outperforms the ANN and STS approaches since it can optimize simultaneously integer and real parameters and provides better accuracy in terms of MAPE (5.2832%), R2 (0.9375), RMSE (2.2111 × 105m3) and AARE (5.2911%). The PSO-ARIMA model has been implemented using 69 records (for both training and testing). The results can help local water decision makers to better manage the current water resources and to plan extensions in response to the increasing need.

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