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Water Loss Audits

Validated Water Loss Audits

The 2016 Evaluation of Indiana’s Water Utilities Report by the Indiana Finance Authority (“IFA”) found that Indiana utilities supply over 50 billion gallons of water per year that does not generate income. As a result, the Indiana Legislature enacted SEA 4 (2019), which obligates water utilities that provide water service to the public for a fee to complete annual water loss audits. Every other year, starting in 2020, the water loss audits (“water audits”) are required to be validated by an independent, third party water audit validator (“Validator”) and submitted to the IFA. The IFA will aid utilities in completing these validated water audits, in order to better understand the amount of non-revenue water in their systems and help address the issue.


IFA has released two (2) Requests for Proposals (“RFP”) to help utilities meet the requirements established in SEA 4 (2019). The first RFP, “Phase 1: Water Audit Validator Training”, aims to train individuals how to validate AWWA M36 water audits, using the Level 1 Water Audit Validation standards developed by the Water Research Foundation.  The second RFP, “Phase II: Water Audit Training and Assistance”, provides water loss audit training for utilities at regionally located meetings.


What is a water audit?

At its simplest, a water audit is an evaluation of the amount of water a utility pumps and sells.  Utilities incur real water losses (e.g. physical) from pipeline leakage and apparent water losses (e.g. paper) when customer water consumption is not properly measured or billed.  The main benefit of doing an audit is to identify these losses so the utility may take corrective action, which often leads to financial savings.  Utilities will utilize the American Water Works Association (“AWWA”) Free Water Audit Software v5.0 to complete the water audit.  There is no cost to utilities to use the software.


What is a validated water audit?

Water audits can only effectively inform decision-makers when the water loss volumes they report capture reality.  Water audit validation aims to identify, and appropriately correct for, inaccuracies in water loss data and audit methodology.  The main benefit of completing a water audit validation by a third-party expert or trained industry professional is to improve the accuracy of water audit data.  The IFA will call for Water Audit Validators (“Validators”) to follow the Level 1 Water Audit Validation guidance manual developed by the Water Research Foundation


What is the cost to validate a water audit?

The cost is set by the independent, third-party Validator. However, utilities may “self-certify” if the person serving as the Validator did not assist with the water audit. In addition, utility personnel may serve as the Validator for another utility’s water audit.


What utilities are obligated to participate?

A Community Water System that supplies water to its users via meters is required to comply.


When are validated water loss audits due to the IFA?

Validated water audits are due to the IFA on August 1, 2020, and every other year thereafter.


What resources are available to help?

The IFA will provide no-cost water loss audit training sessions around the state, at which utilities will receive instruction on how to complete a water audit and, at some sessions, may complete their water audits onsite. Continuing Education and Professional Development hours will be made available. When established, workshop dates and locations will be posted on this website.


How could I become a Validator?

A Water Audit Validator certification license will be granted to individuals who have passed the Water Audit Validator Certification Exam. The certification license will be good for three years.


The IFA will set up training sessions, which will conclude with a certification exam, for individuals wishing to become Validators. Continuing Education and Professional Development hours will be made available. When established, workshop dates and locations will be posted on this website.


What are the technical qualifications for a Water Audit Validator (“Validator”)?

  1. An individual who has passed the Indiana Water Audit Validator certification exam; or

  2. An individual who is certified by the CA-NV AWWA as a water audit validator; or

  3. An individual who is recognized as a Qualified Water Loss Auditor by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division; or

  4. An individual who can demonstrate having conducted water loss audits in accordance with the AWWA M36 Water Audits and Loss Control Programs and having conducted a minimum of ten (10) Level 1 audit validations in accordance with the Water Research Foundation Level 1 Water Audit Validation: Guidance Manual 4639A (Water Audit Validation).

Documents and Links

Water Loss Audit Fact Sheet
2016 Evaluation of Indiana’s Water Utilities Report
AWWA Free Water Audit software
Water Research Foundation’s Validation manual

Contact the IFA Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning Program:

Sarah Hudson, Director, sahudson@ifa.in.gov, 317-232-2818

Daniel Lundberg, Project Manager, dlundberg@ifa.in.gov, 317-232-3195