In most countries, most of the distributed water is never invoiced to the clients. This is usually a huge issue in developing countries. The amount of water that is not billed to the clients, as opposed to the amount of water that is given to a distribution system, is known as Non-revenue water, and it consists of the following ;
- Apparent losses resulting from erroneous metering, data management mistakes, theft, and shady connections are commercial losses. Actual losses caused by system leaks and storage tank overflows are physical losses due to poor operations.
Apparent losses, also known as commercial losses, are caused by inaccurate metering, poor data management, theft, and unscrupulous connections. Actual losses, such as storage tank overflows and system leaks, result from destructive operations and subsurface assets. In this article, we will talk about the importance of reducing non-revenue water and the strategies to reduce water loss.
Importance of reducing non-revenue water
Effective NRW management is crucial for protecting water resources, improving service, financial performance, city appeal, climate resilience, and energy use. It’s often cost-effective in water shortages and benefits service providers.
Despite decades of campaigning and training, NRW reduction in developing nations receives little attention among utilities despite its benefits. Utilities struggle due to weak capacity, lack of incentives, poor financial discipline, and leak detection, exacerbated by climate change, water scarcity, and rising consumer demands.
Strategies to combat water loss
Water theft and meter manipulation are prevalent issues globally, particularly in Southeast Asia. Experts suggest reducing utility tampering through advanced metering devices. Some of the strategies for combating water loss include the following;
Evaporation is a significant issue, and some regions are exploring subterranean water storage schemes, such as floating 96 million black plastic balls on the Los Angeles reservoir to reduce evaporation. The International Water Association reports that many water companies disregard water loss issues despite best practices, particularly within distribution networks.
Decentralisation of water treatment
Leakage is the primary cause of non-revenue water, and decentralised water treatment, which requires less pipework, has not been fully utilised to combat this issue. A small desalination plant can be installed on-site by a water provider in remote coastal villages. In contrast, packaged water treatment units can quickly set up drinking water treatment in industrial or tourist sectors. The membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) converts sewage wastewater into high-quality effluent for non-potable applications like irrigation, and water recycling is gaining acceptance in industrialised countries, including direct potable reuse.
Description of water distribution systems
A water distribution system transports water from its source, such as groundwater, freshwater bodies, or artificial reservoirs, to the client through various components. The system involves earthworks like dams, physical structures like water pipelines, pumping stations, aqueducts, and groundwater wells, and a treatment facility to make water potable for human consumption. A storage facility balances flow rates and stores excess water during daily consumption.
Non-revenue water explained in comprehensive is essential when you want to understand what we have done in this article.