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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP336  Active Leakage Control Cost Curve Developments Leakage
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Setting Economic Level of Leakage (ELL) targets and improving the efficiency of active leakage control (ALC) relies on modelling the impact of changes in ALC activity on the level of leakage achieved within a Demand Management Area (DMA) or zone.

Recent evidence indicates that there are some areas where the traditional modelling of the ALC cost curve does not appear to match practical observations. For example in areas where the leakage levels do not fall as would be expected or leakage levels bounce back quicker than expected.

It has been suggested that as leakage levels approach base or policy minimum levels the shape of the ALC cost curve needs to be varied from the traditional function, which assumes that the:

  • Natural Rate of Rise (NRR) is constant.
  • Exit level of leakage is independent of intervention level.
  • Amount of ALC effort needed to achieve the exit level is always the same for a given DMA.

This project will collect leakage, repair, ALC activity and cost data from a large number of DMAs, including those which appear to respond 'normally' to ALC and those which do not. Project results will be delivered early in 2008 in order to support planning decisions for PR09.

Specialist expertise on leakage economics will be provided by Simon Beal of Beal Consultants.

Benefits to Clients

  • Better understanding of the active leakage control - cost relationship for DMAs.
  • Improved evidence on which to base ELL and leakage efficiency targets.
  • An improved ALC cost function which can be used for DMA prioritisation and optimisation.

Work Programme

  1. Active leakage control data will be collected for a large number of DMAs.
  2. The DMAs will be analysed theoretically for a range of assumptions and the data used to test the assumptions.
  3. Cost curves will be developed for each DMA and the extent to which they deviate from theory will be examined.
  4. If appropriate, modifications to the theoretical ALC cost model resulting from this work will be proposed.
  5. The difficulty of reducing leakage in DMAs will be investigated.

Project Output

  • A report detailing the work carried out, the findings and implications for leakage targeting and ALC efficiency.
  • A database of the (anonymous) DMA data.
  • A workshop to disseminate results and discuss implications.

Related Work

  • Long term benefits of pressure management, CP303, 2007.
  • Involvement in ELL assessments 1997 to present.
  • Developing best practice for ELL analysis, including the development of the Tripartite Report in 2002.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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