GAO (2016) Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources, Report No. GAO-16-474 Apr 29,
Water scarcity occurs when the demand for water in a given area approaches or exceeds available water supplies. A water utility facing scarcity may attempt to address it by reducing its demand on existing water supplies, increasing its water supplies, or both. Many mature technologies are available to address both of these areas. For example, a utility could try to improve the efficiency of its distribution system in order to reduce its demand on existing water supplies. Utilities can choose from wide variety of mature technologies to detect leaks, manage pressure, meter water flow, and assess the condition of pipes. Similarly, a utility may be able to increase supplies through choosing from many mature technologies that are available to treat nontraditional water sources such as seawater, brackish water, treated municipal wastewater, or storm water captured from developed surfaces.
Publication type:
policy brief
Publication date:
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Timothy Persons