Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016 - (Page 29)

DePartMeNt: FINaNCe tracking Down Non-revenue water n By DON VAN VElDhuizEN, uSABluEBOOk Non-revenue water (NRW) is water that has been produced but is "lost" before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses through leaks and theft (sometimes also referred to as physical losses) or apparent losses, such as those caused by metering inaccuracies or improper distribution maintenance practices. High levels of NRW can harm the financial viability of water utilities, as well as the water quality itself. Dealing with the magnitude of this problem is a major challenge affecting most water systems in the United States. With 30 percent of the U.S. infrastructure installed 40 to 80 years ago, it is estimated that leaks and stolen water account for 7 billion gallons of revenuegenerating water each day. Compound that with apparent losses, and the revenue loss exceeds $450 million per day nationwide. Knowing where you have NRW in your system will help you determine where to direct funds and/or personnel to reduce lost revenue. Depending on the system, it may require infrastructure improvements or repairs. Procedural inefficiencies may also need attention. Wherever you make changes, they should show a reasonable return on investment within the budget cycle. Using audits to measure NRW NRW is typically measured as the volume of water "lost" as a percentage of net water produced. A basic water audit can find NRW and should be done annually. The process for a basic water audit is a simple one, and virtually any water system can complete it without a spreadsheet program. Simply divide all metered water in the system by the amount A rural water 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016

From the President
Careers in Rural Water
Water University
Credential from Water U Helps Land the Job
Lessons in Water
Finance: Tracking Down Non-Revenue Water
Technology: GIS and the 5 Ws
Emergency Management: Drought to Flood: Oklahoma
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Four Key Benefits to Incorporating Cellular Technology into Your Utility Management System
The WaterPro Online Community
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016