Water Audit

Water Audit: Tools, Information, and Expertise

A water audit, unlike an electrical audit, is the technique of measuring all the water flows in a distribution system to know its use, minimize losses and enhance water conservation. Water auditing can start with a thorough approach to make the entire water system assessable with available data and guidelines that help in identifying certain areas to focus on. Water Audits are required for various purposes such as assessment of a property’s water-use efficiency, to set up guidelines for improved water conservation in development areas and industrial treatment plants, municipal water systems, and even agricultural water management. The objectives of a water audit include the measurement of water loss, allocation of water sources appropriately according to need, and of course, the measurement of the quality of the water.

 

With the increasing population

and growing demands of water in urban and rural areas, irrigation systems, and other water users have become major concerns. Water Use Efficiency audits, which are also known as Drinking Water Quality audits, are important in setting up sustainable water use and improving water quality. The objective of this type of audit is to set a limit of excessive consumption and excessive loss and to ensure that water usage can be controlled to meet the objectives of public health and the environment. This type of audit involves a comprehensive assessment of supply lines and distribution systems, testing of pumps, sprinklers, controllers, valves, and other equipment used for irrigation, analysis of historical trends in water use, review of existing site irrigation facilities, and data collection on water use efficiency. An irrigation efficiency audit includes the measurement of water loss from roofing structures, infiltration of rainwater, and loss from the total system capacity.

 

A water audit is conducted for various reasons,

including determining the amount of water needed for effective operations, assessing the loss of water through leaks, clogs, and other forms of damage, and setting up guidelines for improvements to reduce future losses. It also helps to improve water conservation and consumption. During the audit process, a comparison is made between actual consumption and estimated maximum daily usage. Auditors also set up conditions for testing to identify problems that may result in reduced water consumption. The results are then used to set up priorities for future water management projects, such as the expansion of existing irrigation projects, allocation of future resources, and the maintenance and replacement of faulty or damaged equipment.

 

For some water agencies,

a water audit also allows them to monitor the progress of repair projects and make changes if necessary. The goal of an efficient water audit is to set up a long-term monitoring system, which is useful in detecting leaks and other problems before they occur. Some water agencies use the results of their water audits to set up improved leak detection systems and to improve their overall efficiency. Water auditors can also conduct leak detection by sending out teams to check for underground leaks.

 

Leak Detection

and Water Loss Audit Testing can be performed by a private company, or by a group of representatives from different water utility companies. If a private company chooses to perform the test themselves, they may hire a third party to conduct a leak detection and loss audit for them. In a public sector organization, the public utility commission, or PSC, can perform a full leak detection inspection and then require that the utilities be repaired. Private organizations may not be able to afford the expense or time for a public systemwide leak detection and loss audit.

 

Leak detection

and leak repairs represent a significant cost saving for utilities. However, it is important for water auditors to fully understand the technical limitations of their equipment and for them to take all possible steps to prevent any damage or contamination to the water resources. Water utilities should also develop adequate emergency spill response plans. Water suppliers should also develop an emergency plan for any large-scale incident that affects the water resources of a region. To protect the public’s water resources, water auditors should have access to the proper tools, training, and information to do a thorough inspection of the distribution systems and to make confident that they are performing their job appropriately. Finally, a water audit agency must have the resources and expertise to analyze data provided by the utility as it pertains to its water resources.

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