Cities Loose Water From Failing Infrastructure

Water management, water leaks, city infrastructure, water management, climate change

It’s time cities fix their water leaks

It’s time cities fix their water leaks. Water loss from failing infrastructure, faulty metering and flat-out theft costs money, and often means lost revenue for utilities and higher rates for consumers. Between 1996 and 2010, the cost of water services in the U.S. rose by nearly 90 percent!

When a water pipe bursts in the basement or bathroom of a house, there’s not much hesitation about what to do: stop the flow, get the leak fixed.

But what if a municipal water pipe has a long, slow leak deep beneath the surface of the ground? Millions and millions of litres could seep away unnoticed for years.

Clearly it’s time to fix the leaks

Fortunately, a suite of cost-effective approaches to reducing water loss is now available. Best practices include state-of-the-art auditing methods, leak detection monitoring, targeted repairs or upgrades, pressure management and better metering technologies.

tracking city water leaks

tracking water leaks

Track the leaks

Key to that practice is dividing the area served by a utility into discrete areas and methodically tracking water flows to determine where leaks are. When leaks are identified, sometimes long before they might otherwise show up as gushers or ponds on streets, they are fixed. Changes in water pressure depending on demand also put less stress on pipes and mean fewer leaks and breaks.

By adopting such practices, water service providers can save themselves and their communities money in the long run while protecting resources and generating economic growth.

More advantages

  1. Infrastructure investments create 40 percent more jobs. Analysis estimates that for every job added in the water workforce, 3.68 jobs are added to the national economy in the North East of the USA.
  2. Fixing the leaks will also reduce the amount and cost of energy needed for water production and distribution
    Some 75 percent! of the cost of municipal water processing and distribution is tied to electricity needs


Costs are always a problem. But what’s the cost of doing nothing? It’s like keeping the refrigerator door open. With water infrastructure, as we keep our minds closed, the eventual problems only get worse, including main breaks and higher costs for repairs.

Globally, one-third of all reporting countries face leakage levels of more than 40 percent.



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