Water UK has recently announced that six of the ten water and sewerage companies achieved their lowest ever leakage levels in 2012/13, and the remaining four all achieved their second lowest levels, having achieved their lowest levels in the previous year. This success is replicated by the water only companies.

Water UK also clarified an aspect of leakage reporting that can cause confusion, namely the use of percentage figures. Neither the companies nor Ofwat refer to leakage as a percentage of water put into supply, because it is almost always misleading. Leakage levels are dependent on pipe condition, pressures in the network and leakage control measures implemented by each company rather than the volume of water introduced to the network. If demand for water and therefore input volumes reduce, leakage in percentage terms may increase even when leakage in absolute terms has reduced.

Overall trends continue to be downward. Total leakage levels for England and Wales over the last three years are

  • 2010/11 – 3365 Ml/d
  • 2011/12 – 3108 Ml/d
  • 2012/13 – 3097 Ml/d