The calibration of hydraulic models of water distribution networks (WDN) is of preeminent importance for their analysis and management. It is usually achieved by solving a constrained optimization problem based on some priors on decision variables and the demand-driven simulation of the entire network, given the observations of some hydraulic status variables (i.e. typically nodal heads and sometimes pipe flows). This paper presents a framework to perform the calibration of pipe hydraulic resistances considering two main issues: (i) the enhancements of WDN simulation models allowing us to simplify network topology with respect to serial nodes/trunks and/or to account for a more realistic representation of distributed demands and (ii) a different formulation of the calibration problem itself.

Depending on the available measurements, the proposed calibration strategy reduces the hydraulic simulation model size and can permit the decomposition of the network. On the one hand, such a procedure allows for numerical and computational advantages, especially for large size networks. On the other hand, it allows a prompt analysis of observability of calibration decision variables based on actual observations and might help identifying those pipes (i.e. hydraulic resistances) which are more important for the whole network behaviour.