Water utility managers today face a conundrum. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recommends a water utility strive for non-revenue water loss at 10-15 percent, but managers know that many systems lose as much as 50 percent. Discovering where these losses occur is difficult.
There’s plenty of data out there explaining the scope of non-revenue water (NRW) loss that can account for more than $2.6 billion in lost revenues for U.S. water utilities each year. Figures from the AWWA show a complex combination of unmetered or unbilled consumption factors, along with an array of meter misread issues, or pure leakage, creating this problem. Yet assessing the exact combination of these factors, and deciding how to deploy time and resources to fix which set of problems is inherently unclear.