Use of GIS (Geographic Information System)

An Integrated Tool for NRW, Asset and Customer Management

After attending WAVE NRW and CCO courses, staff of EMBU Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO) felt a need to come up with one integrated system for NRW and CCO that would assist managing the two areas together. The company therefore developed successfully an action plan that involved among other things: setting up a GIS (Geographic information system) to manage NRW, assets, and customers. The implementation showed remarkable results, e.g. the doubling of revenues between 2008 and 2013.

Contact: Michael Kiio Ireri | Phone: +254-068-31156 | Cell: +254-0721803703 | kiiondiwiga(at) | Embu Water and Sanitation Company

Lessons Learnt

By implementing a GIS system, Embu Water has developed a «one stop integrated data management system» by simply collecting existing data and organizing it. This has improved efficiency in a lot of areas, i.e. Integrating data within the company; Billing and Customer care; Hydraulic and Meter reading; Connection and Reconnection; O&M and Assets.

Recommendation: A GIS system can be easily adapted by other WSP within the region


  • Improve NRW from 55% to 33% in 5 years through improved asset management
  • Improve customer perception from 75% to 85% in 5 years through a «Know your Customer» data base
  • Improve network pressure from an average of 10 bar to 3 bar in 5 years
  • Developed an asset replacement program (aging of assets) in 5 years
  • Improve debt collection efficiency from 80% to 95% in 3 years
  • Improve billing efficiency from 85% to 100% in 3 years
  • Improve planning with data on expansion and growth of our town
  • Provide data for design and hydraulic modeling (elevation models)

Project Description

  • Layer 1: Base maps – cadastral maps from Survey of Kenya- showing plot numbers - digitizing
  • Layer 2: Pipe networks – mapped using a GPS, showing characteristic of pipe, ie size, material, age
  • Layer 3: Consumer meter location – mapped using GPS
  • Layer 4: Master meter location – mapped using GPS
  • Layer 4: Pressure maps –mapped using pressure loggers and GPS
  • Layer 5: Aerial photographs- showing actual features on the ground (satellite images)
  • Layer 6: Sewer pipe network
  • Layer 7: Man holes
  • Layer 8: Valve and fittings

The process of linking the GIS data base and the billing database is on-going


  • Improved meter reading efficiency from 85% in 2008 to 96% in 2013
  • Improved billing efficiency from 80% in 2008 to 100% in 2013
  • Operation cost reduction through improved efficiency by 17%
  • Better customer knowledge through data collection; 70% of customers have been mapped
  • Reduction in NRW from 55% in 2008 to 36% in 2013
  • The revenue has increased from 7 million in 2008 to 14 million in 2013
  • Improved efficiency in customer service
  • Improved efficiency in operation and maintenance


Through improved efficiency and better planning, the company has improved its revenue by 40% and reduced its cost by 15%.

Coverage has continually been increasing from originally 60km2 to around 400km2. Customer connections have increased from 8,000 in 2008 to 14,000 in 2013.

WAVE Impact

Through the first and second WAVE trainings on NRW and CCO held in 2008 and 2009, the need to come up with one integrated system became clear to us. This system should assist us to manage the two areas together.

We have developed this system now and were supported by a donation of ArcGIS software by JICA.