What is non-revenue water?

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Keeping The Water Flowing

Brendan Hegerty, Global Director of Water Solutions at Oxford Flow, takes a closer look at the solutions for effective water

In an era of growing concerns about sustainability, water scarcity, and resource conservation, the challenge of non-revenue water (NRW) looms large as a critical issue in today’s industry landscape. As discussions intensify on these pressing matters, it becomes evident that NRW, encompassing both visible and concealed losses, demands our immediate attention. This article delves deeper into the concept of non-revenue water, shedding light on its implications and exploring effective strategies for mitigating water loss.

Exploring Non-Revenue Water:

At the heart of the issue lies the concept of Non-Revenue Water (NRW), which refers to the discrepancy between the volume of water entering a distribution system and the amount that is accurately billed to consumers.

Understanding the Components of Non-Revenue Water:
Real Losses – These are the common losses incurred through leaks, bursts, and overflows, primarily occurring at mains, service reservoirs, and service connections up to the customer metering point.

Apparent Losses – Arising from unauthorized water consumption, such as theft and inaccuracies in water metering.

Unbilled Authorized Consumption – This includes water distributed without charge to public institutions, serving purposes like firefighting or filling public fountains.

Impacts of Water Loss:

Environmental Consequences – The adverse effects of leakages extend to the environment, triggering issues like soil erosion and flooding. Neglected leakages can even jeopardize infrastructure integrity and public safety.

Increased Energy Expenditure – Elevated water loss necessitates utilities to transport larger volumes of water than necessary, leading to amplified energy consumption.

Escalating Treatment Costs – Substantial volumes of lost water find their way into wastewater collection systems, demanding additional treatment efforts that translate to higher costs borne by end consumers.

As the global focus on sustainable resource management intensifies, tackling non-revenue water emerges as a pivotal challenge that demands collective action. By comprehending the different facets of NRW and its cascading effects, stakeholders can forge innovative strategies to minimize water loss, enhance water system efficiency, and secure our vital water resources for generations to come. Join us in our mission to conserve water, combat water scarcity, and ensure a more sustainable future.

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