10.6 Leakage from urban water system

Supporting information

The volume reported (16,529 ML) represents background leakage from Adelaide's mains water network to groundwater during the 2012–13 year.

Quantification approach

Data source

Geographic Information System (GIS) database; unpublished National Performance Report (NPR) data.  

Provided by

SA Water.


GIS analysis was used to calculate the length of SA Water mains pipes within the Adelaide region. The infrastructure leakage index, which was 4.2 kL/km/day (SA Water's unpublished NPR data), was multiplied by this pipe length to obtain the 2012–13 leakage volume for Adelaide, 

Assumptions, limitations, caveats and approximations

  • It was assumed that pipe length, used to calculate the leakage volume, remained unchanged in the 2012–13 year, compared to the 2011–12 year.
  • Assumes the volume reported represents both pipe bursts and background leakage (real losses) and, because it was not possible to separate the two components, the total volume is assumed as leakage to groundwater.
  • Leakage from bulk transport pipelines (Mannum–Adelaide Pipeline, Murray Bridge–Onkaparinga Pipeline and Swan Reach–Stockwell Pipeline), wastewater pipelines, fire services and recycled water pipes were not quantified.

Uncertainty information

Derived from measured data. Estimated in the range +/– 30% to +/– 50%.