STUDY: Ga. losing water due to inefficient water supply
The state is losing nearly 78,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 8, 2016 -- Georgia counties are pouring millions of dollars down the drain every year as the aging water infrastructure springs leaks across the system. According to a review of the state's data by FluksAqua, the State of Georgia loses nearly 78,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year even with some of the most progressive water monitoring in the U.S.
An inefficient water supply increases the cost of service to customers and drains the environment prematurely. Water losses also add $25.95 a year to the utility bill of an average Georgian water customer.
Georgia may be wasting billions of gallons of water but they are only one of six states with any water leakage reporting requirements for all their water utilities. Based on the known numbers, most states are likely experiencing the same or larger losses but there is no unified system for collecting the information. It is the problem that everyone knows is happening but there is little action to correct it.
"Georgia is in a unique position because it has a program that requires utilities to report water leakage which means they can actually plan to address the system issues," says Hubert Colas, president, FluksAqua Americas. "Leakage and losses affect every water system but you need to be proactive when it comes to maintenance and repairs to prevent wasting millions of gallons of this precious resource."
Residents of Georgia can check water loss information in their own municipalities by visiting https://www.fluksaqua.com/en/benchmark/interactive-maps/. Created by FluksAqua based on data collected by the State of Georgia, the interactive infographic can show water leakage based on their geographical location.
Water losses may actually make up a large amount of water production costs. Water is taken from the environment, treated and pumped before being delivered which burns energy, uses chemicals and requires the building of facilities with extra capacity. In addition, there is the indirect cost of carbon emissions. For example, the energy to supply water to California corresponds to 19 per cent of all electricity consumed in the state. Overall, producing usable water consumes about three percent of all electricity in the U.S.
"Since it experienced droughts, Georgia has taken a proactive approach to its water strategies and management which should set a standard for other States," says Colas. "Though it has abundant water resources, rains that replenishes the system do not fall equally across the state. And growing population in major centres is taxing the water supply. By taking steps to conserve their water now, the state can work to avoid droughts in the future."
There is still work to be done as the infrastructure ages, energy costs increase and more regulations change the requirements for safe drinking water. Georgia is taking steps to bring in improvements but there needs to be a change in attitudes towards drinking water. Conservation means using this precious resource as efficiently as possible.
"Every state should be required to track their water losses and plan to improve their infrastructure before there is a break in the system," explains Colas. "The issue of water leakage can no longer be ignored."
FluksAqua, a free, practical and moderated Q&A forum specifically designed for operators of drinking water distribution, water, and wastewater treatment plants, is online and actively answering important peer-to-peer technical questions from water professionals.
The FluksAqua Forum (available at https://www.fluksaqua.com/en/qa/) is uniquely 'searchable' so that water professionals can review the full string of conversation about a specific topic or concern. It is also anonymous so that water professionals can obtain exceptional peer-to-peer advice without disclosing which system they are working to improve.
FluksAqua is a new online community created by a dedicated group of water and wastewater professionals to facilitate a constant and interactive flow of information between operators and professionals on issues of water safety, infrastructure, conservation and optimization.