A new approach to leakage target setting was developed in this project for water utilities in England and Wales. The project was funded by a tripartite group of Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and was undertaken by WRc and London Economics. The water utilities were closely involved in the work to ensure that practical guidelines were developed which were appropriate to all utilities.
The project considered the appropriateness of the economic level of leakage as an operational approach to leakage targets and built on the improvements in data quality and analytical techniques already achieved. The primary aim was to improve the clarity and transparency of leakage analyses and the robustness of assumptions, whilst making better use of available data. The work established a set of key principles, drawing on existing best practice within the industry.