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Georgia Water Audit Program

October 15, 2015
Water pours out of a silver faucet.

It seems like every time you turn on the news, there’s a report more dismal than the last one about a drought going on all over the country. Georgia has seen its fair share of dry times in the past, for sure. But did you know that our state is a trailblazer for water conservation?

It all started 3 years ago when Georgia initiated a statewide program that required facilities serving populations over 3,300 to take part in water audits and institute possible improvements based on their findings. It was a huge success, and Georgia ended up reducing its losses by 2.5 billion gallons and saving almost $3 million. Wow!

Now, there are 24 other states following in Georgia’s footsteps. Currently, California is conducting an audit modeled after Georgia’s procedures entitled “The California Water Loss Control Collaborative.”

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority funded the audit for Georgia. In an interview with the American Water Works Association, senior program manager Jason Bodwell provided some insight into why the water audits remain so important.

“Everyone thinks, ‘Oh, gosh, I’m losing all this water. It’s leaking into the ground,’ which might be the case,” Bodwell said. “There are a variety of other ways you can lose revenue. If your customers’ meters are not registering appropriately, you’ll lose revenue. If your finished water meters are not registering appropriately, the building blocks of the whole water loss audit process breaks down."

Bodwell went on to explain the importance of water loss prevention in order to reduce the effects of a drought.

“You can’t conserve your way out of a drought. You can put all the conservation mechanisms in your home that you want, but if municipalities are losing water before it gets to your door, that’s a huge factor in addressing drought.”

Bodwell has already received calls from 10 new states who are interested in learning more about the water audit program, and he’s currently traveled to 4 states to provide a presentation on the benefits of keeping the water facilities accountable.

Next time you turn on your faucet, take a moment to think about how much thought and time has been given to the water you use. For more information on water resources in Georgia, check in with the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.

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