Establishing the First Validated Dataset of North American Water Utility Water Audit Data

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The American Water Works Association‟s (AWWA) Water Loss Control Committee (WLCC)assembled in 2011 an initial dataset of Water Audit data from 26 water systems from the United States and Canada. This effort represents the initial phase of a project that ultimately aims to establish North American water industry benchmarks for water loss control, while promoting the use of standardized water loss accounting practices.. In early 2011, the committee embarked upon an effort to collect and validate an initial pool of water utility water audit data. Data validation is an integral part of the IWA/AWWA Water Audit employed as the best practice tool for data collection. It is important to input accurate and meaningful data into the Water Audit, in order to yield accurate and meaningful performance indicators. Accuracy of information promotes effectiveness in water loss management and revenue recovery in utility systems. Inaccuracy of information promotes misalignment of resources and utility system inefficiencies.

This paper describes the WLCC‟s data collection efforts and outlines the data validation process and where utility systems should generally focus initial efforts for improvement of data validity. The utility-specific dataset from a group of utility systems in North America was compiled by using the AWWA Free Water Audit Software© (latest version, 4.2, June 2010) and the associated Compiler software which was created by the AWWA Water Loss Control Committee. Each Water Audit in this dataset was peer reviewed for analysis of data validity. Results and discussion of this analysis are presented.

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