The Battle of the Water Networks II (BWN-II) is the latest of a series of competitions related to the design and operation of water distribution systems (WDSs) undertaken within the Water Distribution Systems Analysis (WDSA) Symposium series. The BWN-II problem specification involved a broadly defined design and operation problem for an existing network that has to be upgraded for increased future demands, and the addition of a new development area. The design decisions involved addition of new and parallel pipes, storage, operational controls for pumps and valves, and sizing of backup power supply. Design criteria involved hydraulic, water quality, reliability, and environmental performance measures. Fourteen teams participated in the Battle and presented their results at the 14th Water Distribution Systems Analysis conference in Adelaide, Australia, September 2012. This paper summarizes the approaches used by the participants and the results they obtained. Given the complexity of the BWN-II problem and the innovative methods required to deal with the multiobjective, high dimensional and computationally demanding nature of the problem, this paper represents a snap-shot of state of the art methods for the design and operation of water distribution systems. A general finding of this paper is that there is benefit in using a combination of heuristic engineering experience and sophisticated optimization algorithms when tackling complex real-world water distribution system design problems. (C) 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.