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Water Loss Control

Water Loss Control is a key conservation strategy of the California Water Action Plan that aims for improved water supply reliability across California.

Senate Bill 555 requires the State Water Board to develop water loss performance standards for urban retail water suppliers between January 2019 and July 2020. The State Water Board is required to evaluate the life-cycle cost of achieving these standards. The standards will incorporate local and operational conditions to determine economically achievable water loss reduction for each urban retail water supplier.

Executive Orders B-37-16 and B-40-17 further direct the State Water Board and Department of Water Resources (DWR) to minimize water waste through system leaks.

Past Meetings and Workshops

Public Stakeholder Meetings #4 Sacramento and February 4, 2019, Chino
Agenda | Public Notice

Public Stakeholder Workgroup Meeting #3 September 17, 2018, Los Angeles
Agenda | Notice


Public Stakeholder Workgroup Meeting #2 June 1, 2018, Oakland
Agenda | Notice

Public Stakeholder Workgroup Meeting #1 March 9, 2018, Sacramento
Agenda | Recording

Water Loss Auditing

Water loss auditing is a desktop exercise to estimate water losses in a system using a water balance. It is important to validate your audit to determine the reliability of these water loss estimates. Please see the 'Resources' section for more information.

Senate Bill 555 requires urban retail water suppliers to conduct and submit validated water loss audit reports to the DWR on October 1, annually.

Senate Bill 1420 requires all urban water suppliers to submit water loss audits with their Urban Water Management Plans every five years to DWR.

Water Loss Audit Reports hosted by DWR: Regulations and Submission

Water Audit Certificate Program by CA-NV AWWA’s Water Loss Collaborative

Technical Assistance

  • The State Water Resources Control Board awarded $3.2 million in funding in January 2016 for technical assistance programs for water suppliers to effectively conduct and validate water loss audits and comply with SB 555, through the formation of the California Water Loss Collaborative. The Water Loss Technical Assistance Program (TAP) provided training and validation to initiate California’s validated water loss auditing process.
  • Our Fact Sheet provides more information on the State Water Board’s role on water loss control.


Effective water loss control goes beyond fixing leaks and breaks as they occur. It involves monitoring and improving infrastructure conditions and operational practices, with economically justified intervention planning. Proactive water loss control can provide multiple benefits in addition to reducing water waste, such as improving infrastructure durability, preventing property damage, and delaying the need for developing additional water resources.

State Assistance and Efforts

Auditing, Validation and Control Strategies

Policy and Programs outside California

  • State of Georgia: Water loss control regulation and program
  • State of Texas: Water loss control regulation and program
  • States of Tennessee, Texas, Georgia and the Delaware River Basin Commission: Water auditing efforts
  • Denmark Environmental Protection Agency’s water loss control program and resources
  • Contacts