A new study of California records shows that Bay Area water providers have been losing about 23 billion gallons of water a year due to aging and broken pipes as the state grapples with an historic drought.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Bay Area water agencies have lost from 3 to 16 percent of their treated water due to damaged underground pipes. The newspaper says the pipes have leaked enough water annually to meet the needs of 71,000 families for an entire year.
Cities including Antioch, Benicia, Santa Clara, Los Altos and Hayward are among those affected according to 2010 Department of Water Resources records.
The newspaper says it is difficult to know exactly how much water is being lost due to no mandatory or standard auditing practices for the state's 362 urban water suppliers.