Leakage targets and socio-economic efficiency

F. J C Bouchart, H. M. Salleh, J. W. Sawkins, P. W. Jowitt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    During the last few years, the introduction of mandatory leakage targets for UK water companies has had the positive effect of reducing levels of leakage, while requiring the companies to operate at an economic level of leakage. Unfortunately, the determination of company-specific economic levels of leakage have been a source of disagreement between the water companies and the Government, with the Government view that water companies are not using the true long-term marginal costs of water abstraction, and therefore are not safeguarding the environment. This paper (a) reviews the model which was used to define the economic level of leakage, (b) argues the case for resource management based on the impact of water abstractions on the socio-environmental quality of a resource rather than the myopic focus on leakage reductions, (c) presents the concepts of effectiveness and efficiency in relation to socio-environmental quality, and (d) proposes a new methodology which allows the determination of water abstraction rates while maintaining a desired level of socio-environmental quality. © J. CIWEM.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-26
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Leakage
    • Socio-economic quality
    • Supply/demand balance
    • Target


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