Urban water loss in Aarhus is down to only six percent

In Aarhus Vand we use asset management to reduce water loss.

Water consumption on a global scale is estimated to increase by up to 30 percent by 2020 according to the United Nations. Increasing water consumption will lead to an even greater supply gap for countries already facing water stress. In order to meet the future demand for water, a strong focus on efficient water management, operation and not least reducing Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is needed.

Today, 25-50 % of all distributed water globally is lost or never invoiced due to illegal connections, inaccurate billing systems, inaccurate metering, leakages, deteriorating infrastructure and wrong water pressure management etc.

In addition to the environmental consequences, neglecting to reduce NRW has a serious impact on the financial viability of water utilities due to revenue losses and unnecessarily high operating costs. In order to bring down and maintain a low level of NRW, several aspects need to be addressed – from the initial planning phase to the day-to-day operations as well as the use of high-quality installations and good workmanship.

Aarhus Vand has focused on optimising water distribution and today the key performance indicators on efficiency are very impressive. Over the last 10 years we have managed to reduce our NRW to 6 percent and the real pipe loss is only 1.4 cubic metres/km/day. The Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI) is down to 0.83.

Through a determined effort since the mid-seventies, we have managed to reduce the number of bursts and thereby the water loss. The increase in the total NRW between 2002 and 2005 followed by the reverse development in the coming three years was due to a test period without active leakage control in order to investigate the actual benefits of investing in this programme.

In addition to asset management, high quality construction work, leakage detection, pressure management, monitoring DMA night flows as well as an intelligent pipe replacement program, new innovative methods are planned to be developed which will benefit and improve the current work.

These include a method to complement the Asset Management System to reduce leakage detection costs and the time spent on analysing data from DMAs as well as a new strategy for the design criteria on future constructions to ensure effective maintenance and leakage detection.

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Aarhus Vand
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