Case

Urban water loss in Aarhus is down to only five percent

In Aarhus Vand we have focused on optimising water distribution for many years, and we have now managed to reduce our water loss to only five percent.

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 water loss – non-revenue water (NRW) – is needed. Today, 25-50 percent 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.

In Aarhus Vand we have focused on optimising water distribution for many years, and today the key performance indicators on efficiency are very impressive. Over the last 10 years we have managed to reduce our NRW to five 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 water loss is reduced, due to improved pressure control in the distribution system; dividing the distribution network into districts (separately metered zones); monitoring and operating the network via SCADA systems; a systematic use of leakage detection programs and internal policies for prompt intervention and response to bursts. Furthermore, the distribution network is continuously renewed based on long-term renovation strategies.

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