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Curbing Asia's Nonrevenue Water

Publication | August 2007
Curbing Asia's Nonrevenue Water

This brief discusses how utilities can stop water losses and therefore increase revenue.

Utilities in Asia particularly have every reason to worry about water losses - they lose up to 65% of their production daily, with most utilities averaging a 30% loss. This bane of every water utility’s existence is called nonrevenue water (NRW).

NRW is water that does not bring revenue for the utility as it should. There are three reasons:

  • water is distributed but never arrives at the tap because of leaks, bursts, or overflows;
  • water is used without the utility’s consent, mainly through theft and illegal connections, or improper metering; and
  • water used for free with the utility’s permission, e.g., free water distributed at standpipes or used for cleaning reservoirs or fighting fires.