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Water Loss Audits

Validated Water Loss Audits

In 2015, Indiana utilities produced over 50 billion gallons of water that did not generate revenue, resulting in a loss of $54.6 million (2016 Evaluation of Indiana’s Water Utilities Report). To better understand non-revenue water, the Indiana Legislature enacted SEA 4 (2019), which obligates water utilities to complete annual water audits. In addition, in every even-numbered year, starting in 2020, the legislation requires water loss audits to be validated by a certified, third party water audit validator (“Certified Validator”) and submitted to the IFA for compilation into a biennial report to the General Assembly. The IFA will aid utilities in completing their validated water audits.


On May 8, 2020, Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-27, which extends the deadline to submit a validated water loss audit to the Indiana Finance Authority (“IFA”) from August 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The audit period should still cover water produced/purchased/sold during 2019.


Water audits must be validated by an Indiana Certified Water Loss Audit Validator before being submitted to the IFA. The IFA has compiled a list of Certified Validators to assist you in validating your audit. You can find an updated list of Certified Validators here.


The IFA is offering support to water utilities and certified validators at no-cost until January 1, 2021.  For more information, call the Technical Assistance Hotline at 317-426-7437 (M-F, 8-4) or contact us at WaterLoss@inawwa.org.


What is a water loss audit?

In general, a water loss 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 loss audit. There is no cost to utilities to use the software.

What is a Level 1 validated water loss audit?

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

What utilities are obligated to participate?

A Community Water System that supplies water to its users via meters is required to complete a water audit annually.

When are validated water loss audits due to the IFA?

Validated water loss audits are due to the IFA on January 1, 2021, and every even-numbered year thereafter.

What is the cost to validate a water loss audit?

The cost is set by the third-party Certified Validator. However, utilities may “self-certify” if the person serving as the Certified Validator holds an Indiana Water Loss Audit Validation certification and did not provide assistance during the water loss process to the utility being validated. In addition, utility personnel who are certified may serve as the Certified Validator for another utility’s water loss audit.

What resources are available to help?

The IFA will provide no-cost water loss audit workshops around the state, at which utilities will receive instruction on how to complete a water loss audit.  At some workshops, utilities may be able to complete their water loss audits onsite. Attendees will be eligible for eight hours of Continuing Education and Professional Development hours. Workshop dates and locations are posted on the IFA Water Loss Audit Website. Registration is required.  To register, visit www.inawwa.org. A Technical Assistance Hotline is also available and can be accessed by contacting our team at 317-426-7437 (M-F, 8-4) or WaterLoss@inawwa.org.  Please note that while attendance at a training workshop is voluntary, after January 1, 2021 utilities that have not submitted a validated water loss audit may be responsible for costs associated with any additional assistance that needs to be provided in order to complete an acceptable validated audit.

Who can become a Certified Validator?

An individual may apply to be a Certified Validator by:

  1. Passing the Indiana Water Loss Audit Validator certification exam, or

  2. Possessing a valid water audit validator certificate from the CA-NV AWWA or be a Qualified Water Loss Auditor in the state of Georgia.

Note these requirements are subject to change.  By 2024, all new candidates registering as a Certified Validator must have passed the Indiana Water Loss Audit Validator certification exam.

How do I become a Certified Validator?

The IFA will conduct workshops for individuals wishing to become Certified Validators. The two-day workshop will conclude with a certification exam. Attendees will be eligible for twelve hours of Continuing Education and Professional Development hours. Training dates and locations are posted on the IFA Water Loss Audit website. Registration is required. To register, visit www.inawwa.org.   The certification will be valid for four years. Please note that a pre-requisite for taking the Validator training workshop is attending a no-cost water loss audit workshop hosted by the IFA.

How much does it cost to attend Water Loss Audit Validation training and to take the test?

In 2019 and 2020, the fee for the in-person Validator training and exam is $290.00.  Attendees will receive a copy of the AWWA M36 Water Audits Manual and the Water Research Foundation’s Level 1 Water Audit Validation Guidance, two lunches, and refreshments for the two-day training. This fee is due prior to attending the training. After passing the exam, the applicant will apply for the Validator Certification.  The cost to apply for the Validator Certification $250.00 which covers the cost of the license data management for four years.  The cost for the virtual Validator training and exam has not yet been determined.

May I retake the exam if I don’t pass?

Participants may retake the exam at another Validator training workshop. Participants may opt to attend the class and retake the exam for $150.00.  Or, for no fee, to retake the exam only.

What are the renewal requirements?

To renew their certification, Certified Validators will be required to complete: 1) two water loss audit validations and two hours of Continuing Education Credits four years from the date of issuance or 2) eight hours of Continuing Education Credits four years from the date of issuance.

Documents and Links

Program Documents

Checklist for Water Audit Submittal

Water Loss Audit Fact Sheet

Water Loss Audit Kick-Off Letter to Utilities

2016 Evaluation of Indiana’s Water Utilities Report

AWWA Free Water Audit software

List of Indiana Certified Water Loss Audit Validators

Audit and Validator Resources and Forms

Water Loss Audit:

Quick Start Instructions for Water Audit

Indiana Water Loss Audit Guidance Manual

Water Audit Workshop Items to Bring

IFA Water Audit Review

Validator Guidance and Forms:

Water Research Foundation’s Validation manual

IFA Water Loss Audit Guide: Cost Data

Level 1 Validation Form

Certificate of Validation

Water Loss Audit Validator Application

Application for Approval of Continuing Education Training

Water Loss Audit Validator Continuing Education Credit Report

Contact the IFA Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning Program:

Sarah Hudson, Director, sahudson@ifa.in.gov, 317-232-2812

Eric Peterson, Project Manager, epeterson@ifa.in.gov, 317-233-7333

Emily Cranton, Project Manager, ecranton@ifa.in.gov,  317-232-3195