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More than a third of the world's drinking water is lost from urban water distribution systems, estimated at over US$18B lost annually, mostly due to undetected leaks underground.
The Challenge of Water Efficiency


Since You've entered the web site, the world could have saved:

m3 of clean drinking water


A major global challenge, is the high levels of water that are lost from distribution systems every day. Fresh water is lost due inefficiencies in the network, including physical impairments (such as leaking pipes) and commercial losses (such as water theft, or metering inaccuracies). More than a third of the world's drinking water drains away undetected, and is lost before it reaches consumers (World band, 2016). This loss could have met the daily needs of millions of people worldwide.


The gap that this inefficiency creates, between the original volume of water flowing into the distribution system and the final volume billed to customers, is teremed non-revenue water (NRW).


For water utilities worldwide, high NRW levels lead to increased operational costs, reduced revenues, and poor performance. This directly impacts their capability to offer improved customer services, including expanding their geographical coverage to provide better service to more clients.


From a global perspective, water efficiecy is a massive challenge:

  • Over 1.4 billion people lack access to potable water
  • The gap between water supply and demand is constantly rising, and expected to reach 40% by 2030
  • Water shortages will effect one third of the world's population by 2025
  • Water prices are constantly increasing, as water availability is dropping


On a local scale, cities are experiencing an unprecendeted water challenge:

  • Cities are expanding rapidly, and by 2050 more than 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas
  • Most urban water supply networks are outdated, and unfit to serve the city's growing demand
  • For decades, there is lack of investment in pipe replacement and network management
  • Utilities mainly focus on the day-to-day operations, unguided by a ong-term plan
  • Most cities do not prioritize resources, funding, and knowledge, for hurdeling NRW challenges
  • Lack of support on behalf of the general public, towards the commercial aspect of water utilities, which bill for water services - a natural resource considered by many to be public domain

There are several channels through which governments or private utilities attempt to improve their water services. Some of these include increasing water production, developing new freshwater sources, building dams, constructing new facilities for water treatment and desalination plants, or replacing faulty pipes to repair infrastructure. While some of these large-scale investments may be necessary, if the distribution system is not optimized it remains inefficient. More water may flow into it, but more fresh water is lost from it.


The tricky trait of any water distribution system is its interconnectedness. By tackling one NRW aspect, instead of treating the entire scope of the challenge, only part of the problem is solved. Because water systems are interlinked and dynamic, changing one element affects the entire system. To successfully reduce water losses, a wider perspective is required, taking into account the entire distribution system.


Here is what our experts say about the complexity of reducing NRW:

"Much of the failure until now is due to underestimating the technical difficulties and complexity of NRW management. NRW is a complex and integrated problem, and needs a complex and integrated solution," Roland Liemberger, Project Manager, Miya Asia.


"Several solutions were tried over the years using internal and external resources. Nothing made our network more efficient, because every action had its benefits and consequences. We finally determined that only an integrated, comprehensive approach like Miya's, that encompasses all aspects of network efficiency, could solve the problems," Glen Laville, General Manager The Bahamas Water & Sewerage Corp.


Miya's offers its partners vast expertise, for a cost-feasible and impactful solution to any utility's efficiency makeover, which also benefits the community, and the environment. 


Learn more about Miya's comprehensive water efficiency solution >>

Learn more about Miya's water & wastewater conscession >>