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.
Past Meetings and Workshops
- Staff proposal for framework of water loss performance standards
- Staff presentations:
Framework overview | Adjustments and Compliance | Economic framework
- Avoided Cost of Water, State Water Resources Control Board
- IRWD’s Water Loss Control Programs and Cost-Effectiveness, Irvine Ranch Water District
- Water Loss Control in Los Angeles, LA Department of Water & Power
- Overview of Life Cycle Cost Assessment: Case Study of LCA Alternatives Assessment of Lead-Free Cast Brass for the Potable Water Supply Components, University of California Los Angeles
- Monitoring and Estimation Technologies | Pressure management | Technology-Constraint Matrix, State Water Resources Control Board
- Machine learning and Pipeline Replacement Prioritization, East Bay Municipal Utility District
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 Audit Certificate Program by CA-NV AWWA’s Water Loss Collaborative
- 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
- Drinking Water State Revolving Fund from the State Water Board
- Funding Opportunities for public water systems
- Resources from the State-funded Water Loss TAP (California-Nevada AWWA)
- DWR’s Regional Offices for leak detection equipment for short-term lease under ‘Technical Assistance’
Auditing, Validation and Control Strategies
- Free AWWA water audit software from the AWWA Water Loss Control Committee
- Fact Sheet on water loss control by the Water Research Foundation
- Manuals for validation guidance and concepts by the Water Research Foundation
- Policy research by the Natural Resources Defense Council
- Alliance for Water Efficiency Library on water loss control