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Real or physical water loss—as opposed to apparent or commercial loss—is a major contributing factor to water stress. Water utilities face increased O&M costs associated with reacting to leaks or pipe bursts, increased energy costs for pumping and transporting water, and high CAPEX for replacing broken infrastructure. Leakage is commonly a result of pipe breaks and leaks—sometimes small and non-visible, usually less than 3.8 L/min—and/or storage overflows and house connection leaks. More than 20% of all treated water that is pumped into the distribution system is lost via leakage before reaching the end consumer, leading to around US$10 billion in global wasted OPEX. Other than the evident pipe replacements, leakage can also be reduced through pressure management, leak detection and integrated network monitoring.




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