Most developed countries have a solid infrastructure and established operational practices for managing and controlling non-revenue water (NRW). This is not always the case in developing countries; many are struggling to ensure that customers receive a reasonable supply of safe drinking water, often via a pipe network that is inadequate, with poor record systems and a low level of technical skills and technology. Tariff systems and revenue collection policies often do not reflect the true value of water supplied, which limits the utility’s cost recovery and encourages customers to undervalue the service.
Developing countries in Asia face similar challenges in reducing NRW, including aging infrastructure, financial constraints, poor governance, and poor project design. Many utilities in the region, however, can draw on motivated and industrious staff to implement solutions once the challenges of reducing NRW have been identified.
Using some key messages, The Manager’s Non-Revenue Water Handbook leads the utility manager through the stages of addressing NRW—first, understanding and quantifying NRW, and then developing a strategy to address it.