Collaborative framework aims to curb utility water loss

The program will serve to unify and expand independently formed initiatives to meet the goals of proposed legislation.


RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Sept. 28, 2015 — The American Water Works Association’s California-Nevada Section (CA-NV AWWA) formed the California Water Loss Control Collaborative to assist in the effort to reduce water loss, according to a press release.

The program will serve as a framework to unify and expand independently formed initiatives to meet the goals of new legislation Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to act on, noted the release. Senator Lois Wolk’s Senate Bill 555 proposes to require 450 of the state’s largest water agencies to submit validated water audits to the Department of Water Resources. The data must be certified by an expert.

"The AWWA water audit process touches many aspects of water utility operations, and we know that almost all water utilities will need some amount of training and technical support," said Sue Mosburg, chair of the AWWA Section and program manager at the Sweetwater Authority, in the release. "Ultimately we want all utilities to develop strong water loss control programs which regularly and accurately assess the opportunities to reduce water loss. Having a good, validated audit is a crucial first step."

The program includes 30 months of training, technical review and assistance, and outreach to water agency staff, stated the release. Water utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Urban Water Conservation Council, the California Department of Water Resources and expert consultant representatives served on the steering committee that helped form the plan.

Workshops will focus on water loss control, leak detection and other management practices, reported the release. The program is designed to merge two tracks, one for early adopters and another less advanced track for newcomers to the approach.

"Leaking water mains and services are a 24/7/365 problem for California, all the more unacceptable in the midst of the drought," shared the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Ed Osann. "This new water audit initiative will give both water suppliers and the general public a much better understanding of this hidden problem and put the state at the forefront of water loss reductions."

You can find the entire release here.

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