HomeIndustry SectorsAsset MaintenanceNon-revenue water losses are bleeding municipalities dry

Non-revenue water losses are bleeding municipalities dry

According to the World Bank Group’s 2030 Water Resources Group, approximately 41% of municipal water in South Africa should be considered non-revenue water.

That estimate reflects the amount of water pumped out by municipalities in the country which never reaches the intended recipient.

While figures vary between service providers, the average loss in a given municipal system is estimated to be around 35%. This is against a global best practice figure for non-revenue water (NRW) losses of around 15%.

The 2030 Water Resources Group – which is a public, private civil society multi-donor trust fund – estimates South African municipalities are losing around $71million (R9,9m) a year because of NRW losses.

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Konstant Bruinette, the senior deal originator at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), said wastage and overconsumption of water are two of the biggest problems facing not only the country but the continent’s water sector.

He believes improving the efficiency of current service delivery models and optimising the use of the scarce resource through implementing adequate supply and demand management strategies will go towards addressing the problem.

The DBSA is currently developing a National NRW Programme that would assist municipal clients with best practice preparation of NRW projects that would be aligned with adequate contracting and funding solutions to implement workable interventions.

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“Across the world, there are various examples of how NRW projects can be structured through a Performance-Based Contract in order to crowd in private sector skills and funding. Through the NRW National Water Programme we hope to structure and roll out PBCs at scale,” said Bruinette.

He will be one of the expert panellists speaking on the Enlit Africa digital event session entitled Plugging the Revenue Leak on 28 October. Bruinette will be joined by Sydney Mashe, a civil engineer with the eThekwini Water and Sanitation department, who is working on a PBC pilot project in KwaZulu-Natal. ESI

Siphindile Sikhosana, senior manager: metering and revenue for Johannesburg Water, rounds out the panel, which will be moderated by ESI Africa editor, Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl.

Sikhosana will discuss how they are developing strategies to reduce NRW losses and the systems they are working on to enhance effective revenue management.

Book your front row seat to Plugging the Revenue Leak right now.

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a Content Specialist for ESI Africa.