WLRandA Ltd

Water Loss Research and Analysis

Improving our understanding of leakage and pressure management

WLRandA Ltd was set up in 2009 by Allan Lambert, as a vehicle for research into international leakage management topics that appeared to require a sustained degree of attention, using good quality data from numerous sources, to try to promote wider international use of practical reliable methods of analysis and prediction.

Water Leakage and Pressure Management Mains bursts frequencies Durban

The first key topic was pressure:bursts relationships. Initial methods developed by Lambert and Thornton in 2006-07 to identify and predict burst reductions from pressure management in zones with high initial burst frequency, had been successfully applied (2010E, 2010H, 2010R and 2010S).

However, a better understanding of the basic form of relationship between pressure and bursts was required for wider application, including the influences of pipe materials, seasonal variation in burst frequency, and effects on residual infrastructure life.

By September 2015, 27 papers, articles, presentations and blogs, 1 Concept webpage (FAVAD N1) and 1 software (AZP&NDFCalcs) on this topic, which had been posted in various locations around the website, were brought together in the Info-hub ‘Influences of Pressure’, and new webpages on this topic continue to be added there.

The second key topic is the ongoing international use (or, rather, misuse) of inappropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Non-Revenue Water, Apparent Losses and Real Losses. At least 6 different traditional and recent KPIs are used in different countries; they each have particular strengths and/or weaknesses making them ‘fit for purpose’ for particular objectives and ‘unfit’ for others. The Table summarizes recommendations of the EU Reference document ‘Good Practices on Leakage Management (2015) which shows that the traditional KPI ‘% of system input volume’ is not in fact fit for purpose for any of these objectives. In fact, in 2014 it was identified as a ‘Zero-Sum’ performance indicator which, if used for setting leakage targets, distorted perceptions of performance and could not show reductions in NRW, leakage and consumption in the same year.

ILMSS Graph 1 apr

WLRandA was active in seeking to promote the use of more meaningful and rational KPIs for NRW and leakage. By November 2015,  33 papers, articles, presentations and blogs, 1 Concept webpage (KPI) and 1 software (EurWB&PICalcs)) on this topic, which had been posted in various locations around the website, were brought together in the Info-hub ‘KPIs Fit for Purpose’, and new webpages continue to be added there.

Since 2013, the LEAKSSuite website also promotes, collates and summarises  an ever-increasing number of validated ILI data sets for Real Losses from Australia, Europe, North America and individual countries, to try to provide the most robust and meaningful international comparisons on technical leakage performance, using the KPI (ILI) specifically designed for that purpose by the IWA Water Loss Task Force in 1999. Links to these individual ILI data sets can also be found in a Table in the Info-hub KPIs Fit for Purpose, but their collective location is the Global ILIs  Info-hub.

Following suggestions by leading  authors and practitioners in the subject of Apparent Losses, it was recognised that the LEAKSSuite website should include a separate Info-hub on the topic of Apparent Losses, and this was established in February 2015. By September 2016, a group of authors produced an update of a 2010 draft  set of Guidance Notes on Apparent Losses and Water Loss Reduction Planning with 9 Appendices, to add to 22 other individual papers and presentations on Apparent Losses by leading international authors.

With the establishment of these 4 Info-hubs during 2015 on  Influences of Pressure, KPIs Fit for Purpose, Apparent Losses and Global ILIs, the objective of providing a platform for free international dissemination of latest information on the main topics of research which WLRandA Ltd had been created to address, had been substantially achieved. Accordingly WLRandA Ltd will, from September 2016, concentrate on customised training activities to meet the specific needs of individuals, groups, consultants and utilities organised through a separate website.

Allan Lambert                            Managing Director, WLR&A Ltd                  10th May 2017