Water is one of, if not the most valuable natural resource but extremely challenging to manage. According to old research in the field, many Water Distribution Systems (WDSs) around the world lose above 40 percent of clean water pumped into the distribution system because of unfortune leaks before the water gets anywhere from the fresh water resources. By reducing the amount of water leaked, distribution system managers can reduce the amount of money, resources, and energy wasted on finding and repairing the leaks, and then producing and pumping water, increase system reliability and more easily satisfy present and future needs of all consumers. But having access to this information pre-amatively and sufficiently can be complex and time taking. For large companies like SRP who are moving tonnes of water from various water bodies around phoenix area, it is even more crucial to efficiently locate and characterize the leaks. And phoenix being a busy city, it is not easy to go start digging everywhere, whenever a loss in pressure is reported at the destination.
Keeping this in mind, non-invasive methods to geo-physically work on it needs attention. There is a lot of potential in this field of work to even help with environmental crisis as this helps in places where water theft is big and is conducted through leaks in the distribution system. Methods like Acoustic sensing and ground penetrating radars have shown good results, and the work done in this thesis helps us realise the limitations and extents to which they can be used in the phoenix are.
The concrete pipes used by SRP are would not be able to generate enough acoustic signals to be affectively picked up by a hydrophone at the opening, so the GPR would be helpful in finding the initial location of the leak, as the water around the leak would make the sand wet and hence show a clear difference on the GPR. After that the frequency spectrum can be checked around that point which would show difference from another where we know a leak is not present.