(copyright) 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.State estimation (SE) techniques are being applied to different network systems in order to convert system measurements into real information about the network state. SE applications to water systems are relatively novel, but these techniques have been implemented in other fields for decades. In those applications, observability analysis (OA) is required prior to application of SE techniques with different purposes: (1) to identify redundant information, (2) to detect elements that make no contribution in the subsequent SE process, or (3) to identify observable islands. However, no discussion has been found in the pertinent literature regarding any interest in applying OA to water networks, with there being only a few basic applications. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to present the implementation of a novel algebraic OA approach to water networks, which is based on the application of a Gauss elimination technique to the measurement Jacobian matrix, and to discuss and justify the interesting aspects of implementing an OA in water transport networks (WTN) prior to using SE while also presenting the issues that this technique may resolve. The results obtained highlight the algorithm potential for real supply systems, improving the knowledge of what information provided by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems is really worth compiling.
network monitoring; observable islands; optimal meter placement; state estimation