Ghost Water - A Spectral Spectacle or Ordinary Oversight?

Kansas City Missouri is reportedly being haunted by Water. Water is undeniably a precious natural resource, vital for all forms of life on earth but it is also precious from a fiscal perspective. Every gallon of water that is treated and deemed suitable for human use and consumption is considered as revenue water. This means that this water is metered and the consumer organisation pays for that water, hence it creates a revenue stream back to the municipality.

In 2015 over 28 billion gallons of revenue water was processed however, a massive 9 billion gallons of that has gone unaccounted for, almost one third. This massive loss is being dubbed ghost water, as it simply seemed to disappear. Obviously 9 billion gallons - enough to fill over 14,000 Olympic-size swimming pools - of water can’t simply vaporise into thin air, so the big question is where indeed has it gone?


A review of the outdated distribution systems around the Kansas City metroplex has unearthed some telling signs. Large leaks in underground pipes have caused a constant stream of processed water to be leaked out into the surrounding water table. There are now numerous reports being noticed from local residents that their gardens are spontaneously flooding in times of little to no rainfall.


In 2015 alone, ghost water is estimated to have cost the city around $24 million USD. Repairing the damage is likely to come at an even higher price, for which local residents will likely foot the bill through taxation. Though this is financial travesty, when put into perspective it is dwarfed by the humanitarian implications. The amount of water wasted by this one city, in a single year, is enough to supply a town in rural Africa, with a population of 10,000 people, for over 1200 years!  Wrap your head around that, my friends.

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