Water Loss Audit Report
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
01:59 PM -- Water Loss Audit Report Performance Standards
Kevin Reidy, Water Conservation Technical Specialist for Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), discussed the development of water loss accounting and explained how water loss can impact budgets of water utilities. He explained that House Bill 10-1051 required the CWCB to adopt guidelines, with input from stakeholders, for water providers to report water use and conservation data for water supply planning. Since 2014, water providers have been required to report the data to the CWCB. He explained that California and Georgia enacted state laws that require water loss audit reports. He also discussed water loss audit workshops that are being conducted by the CWCB across the state to train water utilities in how to conduct such audits. He discussed the role of water loss in the water supply gap identified in the Statewide Water Supply Initiative and the Colorado Water Plan.
Mr. Reidy explained how the CWCB uses the American Water Works Association M36 water loss methodology to train water providers about water audits and loss control programs. M36 offers water utilities a set of tools and approaches to instill accountability and control losses, including step-by-step procedures to conduct a water audit to assess the efficiency of the water distribution system and water accounting practices. It also provides specific techniques to identify, measure, and verify all water sources, consumption, and losses.
Theresa Conley, Conservation Colorado, discussed the potential benefits of water loss audits to help Colorado meet the state's growing water demand. She also explained how water loss is addressed in the Colorado Water Plan and responded to questions from the committee about lost water and whether its available for other beneficial uses. In chapter 6 of the Colorado Water Plan, the CWCB identified water loss metering and audits as foundational water efficiency activities that every water utility should implement. Such activities include master-meter improvements to aid in reliably measuring water flow and properly accounting for water loss using the AWWA M36 water loss methodology.
Paul Fanning, Pueblo Board of Water Works, explained the Water Supply Technical Advisory Group was formed to identify ways to increase municipal conservation and to help implement House Bill 10-1051. He also identified the benefits of water loss audits included reduced diversions, reduced costs for ratepayers, and other benefits.
John Thornhill, Greeley Water and Sewer Department, discussed water loss recording and reporting in the City of Greeley's water conservation plan. He estimated that water loss for the city is approximately 6 percent over the previous 10 years and identified measures to reduce water loss in the city's water distribution system including leak detection and metering.
Joe Burtard, Ute Water Conservancy District, explained that the district is the largest domestic water provider in western Colorado with over 80,000 customers and service boundaries that encompass approximately 260 square miles within Mesa County. He estimated that water loss for the district is approximately 6 percent and identified measures to reduce water loss in the district including leak detection and repair. He also explained that the district hosted AWWA's water loss workshop and identified the benefits and shortcomings of this program.
Joe Stibrich, Aurora Water, identified mechanisms for water loss and discussed the city's efforts to reduce such losses. He also identified the impact of water loss including lost revenue and the need to acquire additional water supplies. He explained why Aurora Water opposed House Bill 16-1283 concerning water loss audit report performance standards. This bill, postponed indefinitely in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee, would have required public entities that supply at least 2,000 acre-feet of water per year to its customers (covered entity), to submit a validated water loss audit report annually to the CWCB starting 2018 Beginning in 2020, the CWCB and the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority would have been required to consider a covered entity's water loss audit report when deciding whether to provide financial assistance to the covered entity. Mr. Stibrich estimated Aurora water loses between 4 to 6 percent annually from its system. He also discussed the benefits of the AWWA M36 water loss methodology and expressed concern about mandating specific methods for conducting water loss audits.
Mike Fink, City of Fountain, discussed the contents of the city's water conservation plan and the state law that requires this plan. He also proposed improvements to the water conservation plan development process.
Mike Berry, General Manager, Tri-County Water Conservancy District, submitted a letter that explained the district reported a 5.8 percent water loss and that identified measures to control water losses (Attachment F). He also expressed concern about mandating water audits using the AWWA M36 water loss methodology.