Residential water demand is a random variable which influences greatly the performance of municipal water distribution systems (WDSs). The water request at network nodes reflects the behavior of the residential users, and a proper characterization of their water use habits is vital for the hydraulic system modeling. This study presents a stochastic approach for the characterization of the daily residential water use. The proposed methodology considers a unique probabilistic distribution – mixed distribution – for any time during the day, and thus for any entity of the water demanded by the users. This distribution is obtained by the merging of two cumulative distribution functions taking into account the spike of the cumulative frequencies for the null requests. The methodology has been tested on three real water distribution networks, where the water use habits are different. Experimental relations are given to estimate the parameters of the proposed stochastic model in relation to the users number and to the average daily trend. Numerical examples for a practical application have shown the effectiveness of the proposed approach in order to generate the time series for the residential water demand.

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