Water Online

November 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

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wateronline.com n Water Innovations 14 WATERLOSSCONTROL validation program in the nation, involving about 450 urban water systems across the state. A Level 1 validated water audit provides the foundation for developing an economically sound water loss control program focused on the true nature and extent of a system's losses and their financial impact on utility operations. To validate an audit, a water loss expert reviews the data entered and the associated data grades and discusses business and operational practices with the audit preparation team. Validation does not grade data inputs "right" or "wrong"; it merely aligns them with the actual conditions that occurred in the operation of the utility for the audit year. Any discrepancies noted during validation are discussed between the audit team and the validator and documented in a validation report. The initial outcome of Level 1 validation is a documented understanding of the data and business practices informing the water audit. Tangible examples of this include: • Systems discovering a billing error during its audit validation, subsequently correcting thousands of dollars of lost revenue. • Systems identifying a source metering configuration creating inaccurate measurement of the volume of water entering the system. • Systems using the water audit to communicate the need for, and value of, a targeted leakage detection and monitoring capital project, resulting in millions of gallons of water saved. A validated water audit provides useful insight into a system's profile of water loss components — expressed in validity, volume, and value, known as the "3Vs." This level of understanding is essential for a utility program to be cost- effective, addressing central questions of how much loss exists by type, what it is costing the utility, and whether the data is sufficiently reliable and actionable. The Next Wave Utilities that embrace the M36 methodology and use their validated water loss audits to pursue an economically based water loss control program are true stewards of the resource. Primacy agencies around the U.S. and Canada have begun to adopt this perspective, even where a mandate for auditing and validation does not yet exist. Many states are leveraging their State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to provide direct technical assistance to utilities in auditing, validation, and program implementation in pursuit of strategic goals for capacity building. And research and development continue. At WRF, project 4695 is developing guidance on implementing an effective water loss control plan. The outcome of this project (2018) will be a guidance manual on reducing water loss economically in a way that aligns with your utility's strategic goals, local circumstances, and financial parameters. This work is being complemented by efforts underway at the AWWA Water Loss Control Committee. One key effort is a newly formed Performance Indicators Task Force, composed of the WLCC's leadership, which is evaluating the acceptability of historically applied and recommended best practice performance indicators (PIs) for assessment of water loss. The PI Task Force will issue its recommendations by June 2019. In parallel with these efforts, the WLCC is also developing the next generation (version 6) of the Free Water Audit Software (2019), which will embody insights gained from version 5's adoption in thousands of systems across North America. Moving forward, key elements to watch will be regulatory developments and new R&D from AWWA and WRF. The industry charges ahead with new developments in leak detection and data analytics technology, but the tools for auditing, validation, and economic planning remain the cornerstone for effective water loss control. To find the tip of the spear, come join us in San Diego for the North American Water Loss Conference (www.northamericanwaterloss.org), Dec. 3 to 5, 2017. n Will Jernigan, PE, is a water loss expert, having worked with more than 1,000 utilities to address complex water loss challenges; he was appointed in 2017 as the U.S. expert to an international task force for developing the ISO water loss standards. Will is a director with Cavanaugh and is co-chair for the 2017 North American Water Loss Conference. About The Author Water Loss Regulations — State of the States (2017) State of the art: The evolution of the M36 Methodology

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