This study is the result of ongoing research for a European Union 7th Framework Program Project regarding energy converters for very low heads, and aims to analyze optimization of new cost-effective hydraulic turbine designs for possible implementation in water supply systems (WSSs) or in other pressurized water pipe infrastructures, such as irrigation, wastewater, or drainage systems. A new methodology is presented based on a theoretical, technical and economic analysis. Viability studies focused on small power values for different pipe systems were investigated. Detailed analyses of alternative typical volumetric energy converters were conducted on the basis of mathematical and physical fundamentals as well as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) associated with the interaction between the flow conditions and the system operation. Important constraints (e.g., size, stability, efficiency, and continuous steady flow conditions) can be identified and a search for alternative rotary volumetric converters is being conducted. As promising cost-effective solutions for the coming years, adapted rotor-dynamic turbomachines and non-conventional axial propeller devices were analyzed based on the basic principles of pumps operating as turbines, as well as through an extensive comparison between simulations and experimental tests.