U.S. Water News Online
DALLAS -- The Dallas water department cannot account for 26
billion gallons of water that cost more than $7.5 million to produce,
according to the city auditor.
The loss amounted to more than 17 percent of the water the city
produced in the last fiscal year. Experts say utilities should be
able to account for at least 90 percent of the water they produce.
In a report, the city auditor said rates might have to be
increased to pay for needed infrastructure improvements.
Some city council members said the department's performance was an
``This is a shambles,'' council member Mitchell Rasansky said.
``It's unconscionable to know your water department is operating like
Department officials disputed the auditor's findings -- they
claimed only about 12 percent of the water was not accounted for --
and said steps have been taken to fix problems.
``We are making changes,'' Maria Alicia Garcia, the water
department's assistant director for business, told The Dallas Morning
The department is without a permanent director. The former
director took a job in private industry, and a replacement has not
In a report that covered the past five years, the city auditor
said the water department had failed to make improvements that could
have saved money. It said pipelines were replaced more slowly than
recommended by industry guidelines.
The audit found an account that was out of balance by more than $9
million for two years and said the department failed to reconcile the
amount of water produced with billings. The agency said all accounts
have been reconciled in recent months.
Council member Mary Poss said the department must balance its
books and improve its performance before the city asks water
customers for a rate increase.
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