20.3 Leakage to groundwater

Supporting Information

The volume reported in the water accounting statement (62 ML) represents background leakage from the pipes in the irrigation water supply system to groundwater.

Volume of water leaked to groundwater from the irrigation scheme in the 2010–11 year
Irrigation scheme Volume (ML)
Barossa Infrastructure Limited 62
Virginia Pipeline Scheme
Willunga Water Basin Company 0
Total 62

Data regarding leakage were not available for the Virginia Pipeline Scheme. This volume is assumed to be small, and its omission is unlikely to have a material impact on the irrigation scheme balance.

Leakage from the Willunga Water Basin Company pipes was assumed to be negligible. Numerous pressure monitoring sites will rapidly identify leaks and leaks are fixed quickly.

Quantification Approach

Data Source

Barossa Infrastructure Limited (BIL): map of pipe network and estimates of unaccounted-for irrigation water.

Provided by

South Australian Department for Water.


The leakage from BIL's irrigation scheme (62 ML) was derived from the difference between water supplied to the irrigation scheme and water delivered to the customers.

Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

  • The area serviced by BIL extends beyond the boundary of the Adelaide region. It was assumed that the length of BIL infrastructure outside the Adelaide region is insignificant.
  • Estimates of unaccounted-for irrigation water were provided for the 2010–11 water year (October – September). It was assumed that these estimates apply to the reporting year.
  • It was assumed that leakage from infrastructure caused the difference between water supplied to the irigation scheme and water delivered to customers. However a significant proportion of this difference is likely due to metering errors. During the 2010–11 year BIL upgraded some customer meters and noticed a significant reduction in the difference between water supplied to the irrigation scheme and water delivered to customers. 

Uncertainty Information

The uncertainty estimate was not quantified.

Comparative year

In the 2010 Account the irrigation water supply system was reported as part of the urban water system; therefore there is no corresponding line item. However, the volume of leakage from the irrigation water supply system was reported at line item 15.2.4 Leakage from water distribution system to groundwater in the 2010 Account. The restated comparative year volume is 182 ML.