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BuRec competition targets water pipeline performance improvement

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; CP staff

With a purse up to $75,000 divided among five finalists, the Bureau of Reclamation has launched a two-stage competition seeking innovative methods to detect leaks and flaws in buried pipelines—primarily 48-in. and larger prestressed concrete cylinder or steel pipe—that convey water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses.

Currently, no practical method exists to detect leaks and flaws in large diameter water pipelines, agency officials note, resulting in the loss of billions of gallons annually. Detecting leaks and flaws early is the key to solving the problem and preventing the loss of valuable and scarce resources, they contend.

Proposed solutions must be cost-effective and scalable to pipelines with lengths of approximately 100 miles. Solutions meeting the criteria could have potential benefits for BuRec and its water users, plus state or local municipal water utilities and their customers. The competition will consist of a theoretical challenge requiring a written proposal, followed by proof-of-concept in a laboratory-scale demonstration. The Bureau is partnering with Denver Water, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, San Diego County Water Authority, Southern California Metropolitan Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority on the program and accepting submissions through May 8. Additional information on the competition and submissions can be obtained here.