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Water Losses. How can companies prevent it?

Water Losses

We are in the middle of a water crisis. As per UNICEF, currently, over 2 billion people are living in areas with inadequate water supply. By 2025 half of the world’s population will be facing severe water shortages. Freshwater is an essential and valuable resource that is limited in quantity. In recent years, many think tanks have theorized that “in future, as more regions come under threat of water scarcity, the more global disputes will occur which could result in the next world war or water war.

Water is an absolutely necessary resource, whose scarcity could result, in the loss of millions of lives and potentially start WW3 and yet we tend to waste so much of it. Various studies have shown that on average, during supply 10-20% of water is lost in the distribution system, due to leaks, and other defects. And in the case of developing countries, this number is as high as 50%. The given percentage only reflects the amount of water loss during distribution, excluding the loss of water that takes place at the consumer end, due to faulty taps, overflowing, and reckless usage. It looks scary, isn’t it? The good thing is that all the authorities have realized these problems and almost all the major authorities are actively trying to minimize the water loss.

How can we minimize or stop these losses? How can we checkmate the water loss? To solve this question, many cities and municipalities are now looking towards implementing various water loss control programs. An efficient water loss control program is essentially a circular program consisting of three components 1) water audit, 2) intervention 3) Evaluation

A water audit identifies and quantifies the water uses and losses from a water system. The Intervention process addresses the findings of the water audit through the implementation of controls to reduce or eliminate water losses. The evaluation step uses performance indicators to determine the success of the chosen intervention actions.

While having an efficient water loss control program is necessary for curbing water loss, this program only acts as a guideline and act as a managerial framework. An efficient water loss program is needed to be complemented by an equally effective smart water management system.

Smart management of water helps authorities and municipalities to cut down the losses and better manage the overall water resource of their city. By smart management of the distribution system, authorities will be able to predict and identify problems even before they arise. To have an effective water management system, authorities need to work on the following steps:

 

  • Predictive analysis: Predicting water demand plays a huge role in any water management system. By knowing the amount of water that is required for overall consumption in a city on any given day in advance, it becomes easier for the water authorities to maintain that level and prevent pumping extra water on low-demand days
  • Divide the water network into sections: By dividing the entire network into various sections makes it easier to monitor, maintain and ensure an uninterrupted supply of water. It also makes it easier to carry out repairs without resulting in the shutdown of the entire supply.
  • Smart pressure management: Managing the supply pressure is one of the simplest ways to prevent leakage. By maintaining just optimum water pressure, we can prevent supplying an excessive amount of water, and pipe bursts, minimize leakage loss as well as increase the life of various supply components.
  • Proper monitoring of the distribution system: Most of the distribution systems are hundreds or thousands of km long, and hence properly monitoring the entire system is a challenge. But it is a vital part of any efficient water management system. Having a proper monitoring system not only allows for quick identification of leakage in the system, but also prevents theft, and contamination of the system
  • Periodical Maintenance: The water distribution system consists of various parts including pipes, valves, meters, pumps, etc. all these parts are constantly under high pressure, and hence periodical maintenance is a must to ensure smooth supply as well as prevention of leaks
  • Smart Diagnostic and repair: Today, we have technologies (smart sensors), that allow us to monitor and diagnose the entire supply chain as well as identify the sections in which leakage is present, so that, we can quickly fix the leakage
  • Proper metering and Prevent theft: Water theft, illegal connections, and unauthorized use is a vast issues in many parts of the world. Water theft not only caused a loss in revenue but also becomes a potential leakage. Moreover, this unmonitored or unbilled consumption often leads to irresponsible use of water and water wastage.
  • Make smart water policies: A huge amount of water is wasted by improper usage. By enacting proper policies, water demand can be lowered as less amount of water will be wasted by the consumer. Policies like using recycled water for irrigation, or banning the use of RO filters where possible can prevent a huge amount of usable water from being wasted as sewage.
  • Creating awareness: While authorities can manage the water losses that occur during supply, once the water reaches the consumer, the consumer becomes responsible for properly using that water. As per a study, up to 80% of drinking water is wasted in the household due to leakage or reckless usage. To prevent the loss of water at the consumption stage, it is important that we provide proper awareness to the consumers. By teaching consumers how to consume water efficiently, we can further prevent water loss by a huge amount.

With the increasing population, and the rise of new industries, today cities all over the world is looking to cut down their per capita water demand upgrade their water supply infrastructure, reduce water loss as well as explore new sources of water. It is the perfect time for authorities to start looking to find ways to better predict, monitor, and diagnose the water distribution system as well as draft policies that will reduce the reckless usage of water.

 

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