Producing high quality drinking water is a challenge, transporting and distributing the water to the final user even more so. How to transport and distribute drinking water while maintaining quality and reducing losses due to leakage? Innovations in leakage reduction, redesign of the distribution system and maintenance concepts all will attribute. This is the focus of the Allied Waters Collab EFquanet, powered by Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers and KWR Watercycle Research Institute.
Around the world water losses in distribution systems vary from very low up to unsustainably high. The IWA Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI) is the standard performance indicator on water loss. Leakage management performance by Dutch utilities is excellent, which yields a median ILI of 0.6 which is internationally considered best in class at this moment. From both a sustainability and water quality point of view, water losses must be controlled and limited. Especially in water scarce areas, where every drop counts, high losses (e.g. ILI above 2) are unacceptable; obviously, it’s a waste of resources when large volumes of the produced water do not reach the customer.
“The first step in any situation is a clear analysis using the water balance, dedicated models and measuring techniques. Next, a smart approach can be developed including short-term leakage reduction (the “low-hanging fruit”), medium-term measures – e.g. relining – and a sound long-term planning”, Cor Merks comments, senior consultant water supply at Witteveen+Bos. “Bridging science to practice is the KWR motto. The cooperation with Witteveen+Bos will boost practical application of innovative concepts and vice versa will stimulate new developments, as utilities continuously need innovations to further improve efficiency of their water supply”, Mirjam Blokker, senior scientist at KWR.