Well I think that the way we should seek to improve our water systems should start at the macroscopic level and work our way down. For leaking water pipes built below streets, the best option is to use a flexible inner tube that would form an airtight layer within the pipe itself. This would reduce the pipe's capacity by 5-10%, but it would allow for an easy fix without having to dig up the roads and relay everything. This is a temporary solution and a quick fix, but the real solution must come from seriously rethinking the way we lay out our utilities. Using the transportation oriented development pattern(TOD), you can significantly reduce the upkeep for virtually every utility by using a less extensive network with pipes and wires of greater capacity. After the TOD is laid out, then we can start to focus on renovating a building; or if it would have to be torn down and rebuilt to make room for upgraded roads and utilities.