‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the facility,
Not a creature was stirring, not even data validity;
The stockings were hung by the billing department with care,
In hopes that lost revenue soon would be there;
The managers were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of reduced costs danced in their heads;
When out in the system there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our desks to see what was the matter.
Away to the SCADA we flew like a flash,
Tore open the data and hoped it wouldn’t crash.
The moon on the head of the recently tested supply meter,
Gave a luster of accuracy to flows that greeted her,
When what to our wondering eyes did appear,
But statewide water loss training to make it more clear!
With water loss instructors so enthusiastic and insightful,
We knew they must teach the M36 manual.
Swifter than peak flow the methodology came,
And they defined, and explained, and called them by name:
“Now, Error Adjustment! now, Water Imported! now Meter Testing and Water Supply!
On, Real Losses! on, Apparent Losses! on, NRW and ILI!
To the top of the water audit! to the top of the sheet!
Now validate! validate! until the criteria you meet!”
As leaks that before the aged pipe wander,
When they meet with a drip-drop, to the ears of a logger;
So up to water loss courses they flew,
To teach about NRW volumes and values and validity too.
And then, with some time, we saw on a graph
The slowly but surely reflection of the math.
As we drew our eyes closer, gathered the team around,
Down came the leakage: reported, unreported and background.
We wondered too about data handling, theft, and meters errant,
And we had to also consider those losses apparent;
A bundle of intervention strategies we had to sort,
But what about our data? Is it good or does it need some work?
Our eyes—they twinkled! At what might could be!
An effective water loss management strategy!
Our sleeves we rolled up with gusto, with gumption,
As we dug deeper and deeper into our Authorized Consumption;
With higher volumes than expected we scratched our heads harder,
Ah ha! We inadvertently included our recycled water!
We now knew just what it meant to establish a baseline,
Create our water balance, and a team just as fine.
We were made up from Supply and Customer metering,
but what about Management and still some from Billing?
With some guidance available through technical assistance,
We vowed to control our water losses with informed persistence;
We reviewed the resources and looked at our audit,
Jotted down questions for those that have taught it,
And feeling inspired by the results that we’ll show them,
Got everyone in our system who should be part of this program;
We started before with just one or two,
But this time we’re bringing in Cindy, our manager, and from Billing, Hugh.
Still we knew other systems had not come this far,
But to that we say ‘Just START!….Wherever you are!’
So if getting a handle on your water losses seems attractive,
Let’s do this…Save Water, Reduce Costs, and Be Proactive!
Understanding the path, we’ll see the benefit in sight—
“Happy Water Loss Control, and to all a good night!”

A playful adaptation by Cavanaugh’s Water Efficiency team from the poem by Clement Clarke Moore. Happy holidays from our family to yours!