Water Loss Audit

Leak Detection | Water Loss Audit Resources | FAQs

Water Loss Audit (New Users)

Water Loss Audit (Registered Users)

The Water Loss Audit should be completed online. The online worksheet should be completed by a responsible party and/or a designated user for the utility. To access the Water Loss Audit Worksheet online you must first register by creating a username and password.  The New User link will direct you to that page.  Once you have created a username and password, you may use the Registered User link to request access to a particular utility.  Once access is approved by TWDB staff you will receive a confirmation by email granting access.

Step by step instructions on accessing the Water Loss Audit can be found here

Please Note: This logon information is different to that established for the online financial assistance application. If you have not previously accessed either the Water Loss Audit or the Water Use Survey, you will need to request access here. If you have previously accessed either one, you may use the Registered User link to request access to your Water Use Survey or Water Loss Audit.

Water Audit Worksheet Resources

For further information or questions, please contact conservation staff. If you are interested in receiving a copy of an entity’s water loss audit report please send your request to WLA-Group@twdb.texas.gov with the entity’s name and requested year along with your contact information. Access to the database should be limited to authorized users. Texas Water Development Board is currently in the process of developing a consolidated database for the water use survey, water loss audit, and annual conservation report. Part of that project will include public access to reports. In the meantime, if you are a registered user, you may view and/or print current and past years water loss audits for your utility by following the process described here

Unified Reporting of Water Use Survey and Water Loss Audit

We are pleased to announce an enhancement of the online water use survey and water loss audit. It was developed to streamline data entry and reporting and to improve data collection and analysis.  When the Water Use Survey data is entered and submitted online, certain fields will now auto-populate into the Water Loss Audit.  The initial phase of this enhancement links the common data between a water system’s Water Use Survey and Water Loss Audit.  A future phase will also link common data between the Water Use Survey, the Water Loss Audit, and the Conservation Annual Report.

Complete the unified reports online.

  • If you previously registered with the agency to fill out the Water Use Survey or Water Loss Audit, use the same log-in information to access the survey and audit again this year.  If you have not previously registered with the agency, during your initial visit you will be asked to register your name, phone number and email address, and create a user name and password. 
  • After logging into the TWDB Program Management System, you will be presented with various agency programs, including the Water Use Survey and Water Loss Audit.  Selecting either one will take you directly to the Water Loss, Use and Conservation (WLUC) landing page.
  • On the landing page, you will see the due date by which the Water Use Survey and Water Loss Audit are required to be submitted for your system(s).  If you only report for a single system, you will see one Water Use Survey and one Water Loss Audit.  If you submit for multiple operations, you should see one Water Use Survey and one Water Loss Audit for EACH system to which you have access.

Please Note: Although you will see the report names, you may not have access to all of them.  For example, you might complete the Water Use Survey but not the Water Loss Audit, or vice versa, but you will be able to see who has been given access to the other report.  Also, note that data entry is sequential; the Water Use Survey must be submitted before the Water Loss Audit can be submitted. The Water Loss Audit will not populate or calculate properly if the Water Use Survey has not been correctly completed and submitted.

Water Loss Symposium presentations available from the August 22, 2013.

Why complete a Water Loss Audit?
Water is a precious and finite resource.Water loss control can help conserve water and can also save a utility and it's customers money. Reducing water loss offers utilities the ability to increase their water use efficiency, improve their financial status, minimize their need for additional water resources and assist with long-term water sustainability. Completing the Water Loss Audit will help a utility understand where and how much water is being lost from the distribution system and will provide a baseline to track and improve water loss control.

Who needs to submit?
All retail public water suppliers are required to submit a water loss audit once every five years. The first year for this requirement was 2005, then 2010, and the next predetermined scheduled audit for this requirement is for the year 2020 and is due by May 1, 2021. Even if a retail supplier submitted a water loss audit in a non-required year, they are still required to submit one for 2020, per Texas Water Code Section 16.0121.

Additionally, any retail water supplier that has an active financial obligation with the Texas Water Development Board, or has more than 3,300 connections, are now required to submit an audit annually. The annual water loss audits are due on May 1st.

We also encourage all retail public water suppliers to complete an audit annually to assist them in tracking water loss to help better track their water loss and identify issues that may need addressing.

The Methodology
Traditionally, the water utility industry has used percentages to determine water loss, but in order to more efficiently manage your utility you should be able to answer several questions:

  1. Where did we lose the water?
  2. How much water was lost? (Expressed as a volume.)
  3. How much did the loss cost the utility?
  4. Why did we lose the water?

The Texas Water Development Board utilizes a methodology derived from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the International Water Association (IWA).  This new standard uses terminology such as authorized consumption, real loss, apparent loss, and non-revenue water.

  • Authorized Consumption is water the utility gave someone permission or authorization to use, whether it was billed or not.
  • Real Loss is water lost through distribution system leakage and excessive pressure.
  • Apparent Loss is water that was not read accurately by a meter; either as unauthorized consumption, including theft, or data analysis errors. 
  • Non-revenue water is water that the utility does not receive compensation for and may consist of the unbilled categories of authorized consumption, apparent loss, and real loss.

The Water Audit Worksheet is a "top down" audit and is referred to as a "desktop" exercise using existing estimations and records.  If the utility desires to become more efficient, the next step in this process is the "bottom up" audit, which involves a detailed investigation into actual policies and practices of the utility.  It should be phased in only after the utility staff has a thorough understanding of a "top down" audit and the IWA methodology, terms, and procedures.

For further explanation of this methodology and for detailed definitions please review the Water Loss Manual.