The fundamental challenge for all water supplies authorities in India is to have a more extensive region for water contamination & loss of water resources.
Non Revenue Water(NRW) is defined as the difference of water put into the distribution system and the amount billed to consumers.
Suppose 1000 MLD(Millions of litres per day) of water utility are distributed on the water transmission line. In contrast, consumers will receive only 600 MLD and the remaining 400 MLD water is known as NRW, and this is the actual happenings in the water transmission.
Around 38% of NRW are officially reported in India, whereas the world bank’s global average is 30%-35%. The actual losses are more than reported. India’s highly informed NRW cities are Kolkata and Bengaluru, with approximately 50% and 49% losses, respectively. It happens due to poor pipeline quality and inadequate maintenance.
WHY NRW IS A BIG ISSUE:
Because it’s a financial loss as well as it is a loss of resources.
Financial loss occurs due to poor maintenance and delayed inspection. Sometimes it leads to the replacement of the pipeline, which may cost more and that’s not the real solution. Heavy leakage and illegal connections create a financial strain for water-based authorities.
The poor condition of the water pipeline creates a heavy loss of water, leading to water shortage for citizens. NRW includes physical loss, commercial loss, and free authorized water for payment that is not collected. Due to rapid urbanization in India, it is expected that 50% of the population will be living in urban areas in the next 8-10 years. Urban water demand rapidly grows day by day, and we have only limited resources; losing that would be a critical issue. Cities are expanding, and demand for additional water is exponentially growing.
For example: In Bengaluru, there are 8.5 million people, So each person should get 150 L of water supply, but they get only 65 L. As predicted, the city’s water demand will be three times more than supply over the next nine years.
MAJOR CAUSES OF NRW :
Physical (or actual) losses due to leakage, crack or wall broken & illegal connection in transmission line and overflows at the utility’s reservoirs. They are caused by poor operations, lousy maintenance, many small leaks, and wall breaks due to the poor quality of underground assets.
Commercial/Apparent losses were caused by customer meters under registration, data handling errors, and water theft in various forms. Unbilled authorized consumption includes water used by the utility for operational purposes, water used for firefighting, and water provided free to specific consumer groups.
SOLUTION FOR NRW:
Knowing the facts of NRW, the actual loss is more due to the physical loss. This loss happens because of the water authority maintenance department’s lack of technology-based solutions and neutral behavior towards the pipeline. The water utility body does not care about pipeline conditions.
Positively, in India, some organizations like ours are coming up with effective robotic solutions to solve these problems at an affordable cost. We are a group of IIT Madras alumni, started Solinas integrity Private Limited, an Organization to build NDT-based technology.
We work in the fields of water and sanitation.
For this particular NRW issue, we have developed a robot named Endobot.
Endobot enters through a tiny entry point in the pipeline(no need of digging), shows the interior view, crack, broken wall, illegal connection, blockage, scaling inside the channel, improper joint, pipeline life inspection and report it within a shorter period. The Use of technology and inspection data helps to pre-cure channel and resources, saves time and the massive cost on replacement, and, most importantly, protects the assets.
BENEFITS OF NRW REDUCTION:
Reduced NRW enables consumers to save a massive amount of money for water utilities and contributes to meeting the urban city’s water demand. By reducing the chance of contamination, it saves tonnes of water from wastage. This improves the distribution of clean water, thereby reducing the harmful impact on people’s health. We can create uniform pressure throughout the distribution system, decreasing the delay in the water distribution.
Source: Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board https://iwaponline.com/ws/article/19/3/831/41417/Quantifying-the-global-non-revenue-water-proble
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