Apparent Water Loss Control
Water that reaches a user (either authorized or unauthorized) but isn’t paid for is called “apparent water loss.” And while apparent loss is often caused by meter under-registration, there are many other causes such as faulty signal calibration, billing system setup errors, data handling issues, and theft. These “paper losses” have a direct impact on a utility’s bottom line – they represent lost revenue the utility could be collecting.
Unfortunately, apparent losses often initially appear to be real losses because they’re not obvious – they don’t register on a meter and require investigation to discover. It is important to distinguish between real and apparent losses because the tools used for each are very different; if apparent loss is misidentified as real loss, a utility may apply the wrong tools to combat it. This inappropriate use of tools can lead a utility to expend resources without the hope of a positive return on the investment.
This section of the Water Loss Switchboard contains tools and resources focused on identifying and addressing apparent water losses.
The IWA/AWWA Water Audit Method provides the best management practice tools and guidance water utilities need to efficiently manage their supplies.
Table listing types of loss, tools to help reduce the loss, and a cost range.