Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019KY295B

Comparison of water loss audit methodologies in high loss Kentucky utilities

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-06-17 End Date: 2020-06-16
Total Federal Funds: $8,413 Total Non-Federal Funds: $16,832

Principal Investigators: Scott Yost

Abstract: While all drinking water utilities have water losses, excessive water loss can negatively impact the financial health of the utility. In Kentucky, the regulation of water utilities is divided between the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) and the Public Service Commission (PSC), and currently there is no statewide policy concerning water loss. The Kentucky PSC regulates water loss using a 15% unaccounted-for water threshold, yet it is reported that 1/3 of the water utilities may have more than 35% water loss. Though the PSC uses unaccounted-for water, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has been urging the use of nonrevenue water to be more encompassing, and has further developed a water audit methodology for analyzing utilities’ water loss. The proposed study plan is to work with three Appalachian utilities identified by the PSC as having greater than 35% loss, to compare the auditing methods, explore the recommended practices, compare the prioritization of the systems using the indicators, and educate both the regulators and utilities on best practices.