Positive Developments in the United States Regulations Standards and Practices

Water and energy conservation has become increasingly important for water utilities and policy makers, and utility managers are increasingly realizing that the improved accountability and loss control is important from environmental, political, and economical points of view. This trend is strengthened by factors such as ongoing droughts, increasing population in the U.S. western states, expensive water resources, and possible future regulations for distribution systems by the USEPA.

Since the first edition of this manual was published in 2002, several very important and positive initiatives took place, preparing the way for successful water loss management in the United States.

The most important initiatives are listed below:

• In 2001, the American Water Works Research Foundation (AwwaRF) Research Advisory Council funded project #2811 "Evaluating Water Loss and Planning Loss Reduction Strategies"5 to help refine water loss definitions, measures, and standards for North America. The final report of this important project was published in 2007, and is now a standard reference for water loss management in North America.

• In 2003, the AWWA-WLCC recommended both the IWA water balance and the IWA performance indicators (including the infrastructure leakage index) in their committee report as the current industry best practice for assessing water losses.6

• In 2003, the Texas State Legislature passed House Bill 3338, which includes in its language a requirement for drinking water utilities to submit a water audit every 5 years. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) was charged to identify the method to be used for these water audits and has established the method developed by IWA. Texas is the first state in the United States that has adopted the IWA best management practice for water audits. Texas has set a clear signal that it supports standardized and unambiguous assessment of water losses.

• Since 2003, several other water oversight agencies have set forth to improve water supply efficiency and long-term sustainability. The following organizations are reviewing state regulations, statutes, and water plans:

• California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC)

• California Public Utilities Commission

• Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)

• States of Georgia, New Mexico, Washington, Tennessee, Maryland, and Pennsylvania

Significant progress was made over the past 5 years with several groundbreaking regulations and publications— leading the United States into active and efficient management of water losses.

• In 2003, AwwaRF's Research Advisory Council and the USEPA-funded project #2928 "Leakage Management Technologies" to review internationally applied proactive leakage management technologies, assess the applicability of these technologies in North America and to provide guidance on how to practically and cost effectively implement these technologies in North America. A comprehensive report covering all aspects of this important research project was published in 2007.

• The AWWA-WLCC is rewriting the AWWA M36 Manual of Water Supply Practices, Water Audits and Leak Detection, to provide guidance on the IWA water audit method, as well as progressive apparent and real loss controls. The new AWWA M36 manual, entitled Water Audits and Loss Control Programs, is scheduled for publication by early 2009.

• A free, introductory software developed by the AWWA WLCC became available in early 2006. The software includes a water balance and performance indicators, based on the AWWA-approved standard IWA water audit methodology and performance indicators. The software can be downloaded from the AWWA Web site's WaterWiser homepage.

Significant progress was made in the United States over the past 5 years in a similar way to the initial transitions that occurred in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s and 1990s. The United Kingdom is now among the leading nations in terms of active and efficient leakage management.

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