Leakage Strategy & Reduction

Bespoke water leakage strategy and reduction for long-term management using proven water detection methods.

Justine Leadbetter is our expert in Leakage Strategy and Reduction

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Helping you reach ambitious targets

Leakage is a serious topic for customers and water companies; the industry has made ambitious commitments to triple the rate of leakage reduction by 2030 and halve leakage by 2050 (Water UK). With the UK facing both water scarcity and ageing water infrastructure, the industry is challenged with finding cost-effective ways to drive down water losses to keep bills low whilst ensuring security of supply.

There is a way to take control. An effective, long-term leakage strategy provides a robust foundation for asset performance.

Putting insight and data at the heart

WRc's experienced leakage management team provide expertise to Government, utilities, regulators and the wider industry. Our combined skills in measurement, engineering and technological evaluation means that we can provide you with a bespoke strategy whatever your network size, condition or performance. 

Working with you to understand the challenges that you face, our experts will analyse your data, help you implement your strategy and continuously review your outcomes to make sure you're getting the results that you need. 

We also provide support to companies who are on a journey to full compliance with Ofwat’s consistent reporting methodology for leakage.

Introducing our greatest asset: our people

Widely trusted within the industry, we have highly skilled statisticians, data scientists and economists that can draw upon internal and external subject matter experts with knowledge of assets and technologies, flow measurement, pressure management and leakage theory to respond quickly and effectively to your leakage challenges.

Reducing risk and embracing innovation

Our role is to help you calculate and understand the economic, reputational and corporate risks associated with leakage, by analysing your targeting and reporting data.

We de-risk your leakage investment strategy through constant evaluation of the latest techniques and technologies.

Wide-ranging support tailored to you

Our extensive test facilities allow us to practically support your needs from assessing meters under registration to evaluating new technologies prior to deployment.

WRc can help you establish an effective leakage strategy whether for your upstream and strategic network, distribution networks or customer supply lines.

Don't just take our word for it

  • Meter uncertainty and water balance assessment
  • Leakage prediction and climate uncertainty
  • Leakage control policy and economics

Being able to accurately identify the level of leakage in different locations is critical for effective targeting and reporting, and requires a deep understanding of the uncertainties in each water balance component/source of data.

In one example of an independent water balance calculation review and verification, WRc assessed a client's calculation processes from raw data through to final values. Improvement recommendations, from meter verification through to handling uncertainties, provided results for the client's leakage teams which increased confidence at Board level.

Scrutiny of the leakage time series can give additional insight into the driving factors behind seasonal variations in leakage, and future climate impacts on repair rates and leakage, to predict end of year figures.

WRc supported one client, which was under regulator pressure to demonstrate leakage management efforts, through their leakage and burst modelling incorporating weather and ALC effort information. Our client tells us, two years on, that the modelled results to predict levels and resources were 'almost spot on' when compared against the real weather conditions.

Understanding the economics of leakage management strategies is key to ensuring security of supply at the least cost, while also considering social (incl. customer preference) and environmental impacts.

An example of work with one client focused on deriving costed interventions to target investment in the upstream network. Through robust water balance assessment incorporating all sources of uncertainty, WRc's recommendations to target leakage, improve the asset register and improve UFW estimation accuracy fed into the client's investment plan for the AMP.

Forming a resilient asset base

WRc provides consultancy services on wider aspects of asset management that contribute to effective leakage strategy and management, including:

  • Asset failure and deterioration modelling for asset resilience planning.
  • Defining system solutions and integration requirement for smart networks.
  • Condition assessment and leakage inspection for trunk mains.
  • Developing communication strategies to help customers value investment.
  • Social data analytics to inform working practice changes that may enhance customer experience and corporate reputation.
  • Network analysis and decision support software to better understand network performance and operational risk, and inform investment.
  • Full and confidential testing and experimental service for procurement support or innovation purposes.
  • Developing and delivering training packages for staff from field operatives to managers on a range of flow and leakage topics.

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Justine Leadbetter

Head of Demand Management

Justine leads the Leakage & Water Resources team and has been heavily involved in projects delivering leakage identification, estimation, reviews, and strategy development, helping various clients meet their leakage targets. She is highly experienced in a number of digitising and geoprocessing techniques and has utilised Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis for leakage and other environmental projects. Her knowledge and experience spans across climate feedback mechanisms, weather systems, coastal environments, water quality and flooding.