How will we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050?
Achieving the target of zero leakage is extremely ambitious, one that cannot be achieved with existing processes, techniques and equipment, even if used in much greater quantities than at present. If zero leakage is ever to be a realistic target, and one that can be achieved sustainably, we will need a large amount of research and development in this area. This will need to cover many different aspects of leakage and leakage management. The timescale for achieving this target is 2050, which means that potentially almost anything is possible, and the research must not be constrained by the limitations of existing methods and equipment.
To help us answer this question we need to develop a strategic research programme to map out the research and development projects.
Before we commenced on a new research programme we engaged with universities and consultants to investigate the current state of knowledge around this Big Question. We wanted to understand what research had been done, what was currently progressing, and where the gaps were.
This review was undertaken in 5 areas, with a separate report for each area.
- Basic mechanisms of bursts and leakage
- Leak detection and location methods
- Leak repair-methods
- Laying leak-free new networks
- Water accounting and quantification
Once we understood our research needs, we produced a route map – this is a plan as to how we will answer our Big Question.
This is described below, and you can download the whole thing as a PDF below. It is important to know that the route map may change as the programme develops.