The concept of estimating the risk of water losses in the water supply network

J Environ Manage. 2024 Apr 26:359:120965. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.120965. Online ahead of print.


One of the methods of increasing the availability of drinking water is to reduce water losses in existing water supply systems (WSS). The need to manage water losses in WSS is highlighted in the new Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption. It was indicated that the main cause of water losses is underinvestment in the maintenance and renovation of network infrastructure. The new legal provisions require a risk assessment to be carried out in the water supply system, taking into account the risk of leaks. The paper presents the concept of estimating the risk of water losses in the water supply network using the three-parameter risk assessment method and risk maps. The framework of the water balance proposed by International Water Association (IWA) were also presented, including the Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI) for assessment of the water supply system Leakage Performance Category (LPC). The analysis was carried out for a water supply system used by 200,000 inhabitants. The LPC of the system was determined based on the ILI index. Then the water supply network pipes that could potentially be a source of leaks were identified. The analysis of the risk of water losses for the examined pipes allowed to determine which pipes should be first chosen to reduce the risk of water losses, i.e. active search for leaks.

Keywords: Risk map; Risk matrix; Water losses; Water supply.