Non-revenue water

Vital resources and great efforts wasted around us every second

Access to clean water is in many places taken for granted, just like the fresh air we breathe. We forget that clean water is a product, and that producing enough is actually a comprehensive, detailed process. And resources are scarce. By adding inadequate distribution management, we are faced with a more invisible, yet crucial problem: water loss, also referred to as non-revenue water, or NRW.

Non-revenue water is basically produced, cleaned water which is lost somewhere in the water distribution system, never reaching its final destination. This means water not used or paid for, affecting local economies as well as local resources available. The problem is universal, ranging from NRW levels of about 5 % to as much as 80 % in certain areas.

A World Bank study puts the global estimate of physical water losses at 32 billion cubic meters each year, half of which occurs in developing countries. Could these water losses be halved, it would be enough to supply around 90 million people.

The reasons for water losses are many, ranging from leakages, pipe bursts, and poor water management to illegal connections and unauthorised consumption. But luckily, so are the available solutions - and their benefits.

Learn about managing NRW levels here

Case

Large-scale project for efficient water supply management reducing critical water losses

A water loss level at around 70 % in the Tbilisi-region has previously given rise to leakage reduction initiatives. Now, GWP has decided to go all the way to obtain an efficient water supply management, and 150 pressure reducing valves (PRV) have already been installed as part of the initiative are to be replaced by AVK valves in addition to more than 350 new installations. The project has expected savings on water production of more than six million USD - every year.

When quality matters
At AVK we prioritise high quality in everything from products to solutions, and our prices are not always able to compete with the cheapest options available. However, it was clear from the beginning that GWP required high quality and dedicated support, and after technical discussions with our experts they acknowledged the benefits of selecting AVK valves.

Less water losses and million dollar savings
Pressure management has proven to efficiently reduce leakages and thereby also lower the non-revenue water level. This improves energy efficiency as well as operation and maintenance costs. Pressure management using PRVs can really make a difference and besides savings on produced and pumped water it can also improve e.g. consumer satisfaction by minimised disruptions. A major benefit of pressure management in the Tbilisi-region is specifically the allowance for control of the excess pressure that arises as the water flows from the high situated reservoir.

The benefits of pressure management are many – most of them having the overall theme of minimising water loss. There are benefits for consumers and water utilities as well as for sustainability.

After installation of 235 of the total 500 PRVs significant results are already seen. The overall water distribution in the supply area has been reduced by seven percent compared with the past year. The risks of water hammer and pipe bursts are minimised, and the electricity consumption and the amount of pumped water is reduced;

Results after installation of 235 PRVs:
  • Electricity consumption is reduced by approx. 10 %

  • Less risk of water hammer, and pipe bursts are reduced by 25 %

  • Pumped water is reduced by 27,740,000 m³/year

Expected results after installation of 500 PRVs:
  • Pumped water reduced by 58.000.000 m³/year
  • Saved production costs 6.380.000 USD/year*

*The cost of producing 1 m³ water in Tbilisi being 0.11 USD

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AVK Non-revenue water

AVK offers various solutions for reduction of water loss in the water distribution network.

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