Water demand prediction is an essential prerequisite for urban water resource allocation and pipeline network management. This article uses a hybrid model to improve the accuracy of predicting water demand. The model combines a simulated annealing (SA) algorithm, genetic cross factor (GCF), fruit fly optimization algorithm (FFOA), and support vector machine (SVM) to predict monthly water demand. The monthly water consumption data from 2012 to 2017 in Austin, Texas, are used to develop and test the model. The prediction results are compared with other intelligent algorithms, such as the hybrid model combination particle swarm optimizer with SVM and back‐propagation neural network. The results show that the mean absolute percentage error of FFOA‐GCFSA‐SVM is the smallest, and it is reduced by 16% and 51.17%, respectively, compared with the other two models. Moreover, the influences of kernel function and input variables on prediction results are analyzed, and the effects of sliding window length, data classification, and forecasting period on prediction results are discussed. We concluded that (1) for the city of Austin, the model with a Gaussian kernel function and historical data period of 6 months has higher prediction accuracy; (2) the monthly water demand in Austin is mainly influenced by the local population; and (3) data classification by season can reduce the interference of temperature on prediction.