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“All the water that will ever be is, right now."

~ National Geographic, October 1993

The rapid development of technologies both new and improved will help all water users be more efficient. This section describes current and new technologies that can reduce water and energy consumption and associated costs. However, even the best technology becomes inefficient without implementation of proper operation and maintenance practices. For tips on how to improve water-use behavior, please see Water Conservation Tips for Arizona Residents Acrobat Icon PDFs (72 KB). For information about facility water-use efficiency, developing facility water management plans and audits, please see Conservation Tools for Facility Managers.

Technologies Home Page, Photo

Spotlight on Conservation

Look for the WaterSense label when purchasing new appliances.


Energy-efficient appliances save water too! Look for the EnergyStar label.


EPA WaterSenseOffSite Icon is a program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. The WaterSense label makes it easy for consumers to find the most water-efficient technologies on the market by conducting quality and efficiency tests. Earning a WaterSense label means the product tested with at least 20% more water-efficiency than similar products. New product evaluations are done regularly. 


To learn more about connections between energy and water, download The Energy-Water Collision: 10 Things You Should KnowAcrobat Icon PDFs (1.88 MB).


Active leak detection systems

Facilities should consider unique circumstances and budget before determining what type of water leak detection system is appropriate. These systems sound an alarm when water leaks are detected and automatically stop the water flow and may be used to monitor individual appliances; cooling towers, an irrigation moisture sensor, or a flow sensor for any water leaks. Complex systems should be installed by a qualified plumber.

Patch the Pipe, Logo

Water providers and utilities use an elaborate system of pumps, valves, and pipes to distribute water in their service areas. Undetected leaks, even small ones, can lead to large quantities of lost water. It is not unusual for 10-20% of a provider's water delivered through their systems to be "lost or unaccounted for." Most losses are more likely due to leaks. System audits, leak detection, and meter repair and replacement help to prevent and detect leaks and ensure that water is being delivered at optimal efficiency. Following is a description of the various methods for detecting leaks in water distribution systems.


Patch the Pipe, Arizona's Leak Detection ProgramAcrobat Icon PDFs (146 KB) is ADWR's leak detection equipment loaning program. This program is available to cities, towns and municipalities only.

Sonic Leak Detection Equipment

Leak Detection, Graphic: Fluid Conservation Systems

Sonic leak-detection equipment identifies the sound of water escaping a pipe. The devices used include those that make direct contact with valves and hydrants, devices that listen on the ground, and devices that listen at two points simultaneously to locate a leak.

Noise correlators
Leak Detection, Graphic: Fluid Conservation SystemsNoise correlators pinpoint leaks in a pipeline. They are used only when there is a suspected leak in an area, not for general surveys. Two correlators, one red and one blue, are placed on either side of a suspected leak. Information regarding pipe size, type and length is entered into a hand held device. Sensors in the correlators pick up the noise of the water escaping from the leak and show the location on the hand held device. The leak position may be accurate within inches.

Ground Mic

(or L-Mic)

A Ground Microphone (Ground Mic), is a highly sensitive microphone ideal for general leak detection operations. The Ground Mic comes with an attachment for use on concrete or asphalt, an aluminum rod for softer surfaces such as soil, and a tripod for use on ground too hard for the aluminum rod to penetrate. The Ground Mic is operated by a hand-held control unit that is connected to headphones. A Ground Mic is also known as an L-mic, X-mic or Elephant foot.
Permalog with Patroller Leak Detection, Photo: Fluid Conservation SystemsLeak Detection, Photo: Fluid Conservation SystemsMagnetized permaloggers are acoustic devices placed on the tops of valves to detect leaks. They can be programmed to operate at specific times, such as in 5 minute intervals between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., and will detect any running water in the system. A leak patrol is carried out using the permalog patroller module which downloads information from the permaloggers and identifies the location of a leak.