Application of Upcoming Technologies and Innovations in NRW Management

Blue Valley NRW Pilot Case Study

Over the years Embu Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO) has been changing rapidly its approach of NRW management. Starting after staff attending WAVE NRW-courses between 2008 and 2010, a pilot area was designated to test NRW causes and problems in the own organization. NRW reduction from 68% to 18% was achieved in the pilot area with modern up-to-date equipment. These good results encouraged the organization to systematically tackle the whole supply area. Revenues generated out of the NRW reduction are used to finance the medium and long-term measures.

Contact: Joseph Irungu Maina | Cell: +254 0721967137 | irungusan(at)gmail.com | Embu Water and Sanitation Company

Lessons Learnt

With the success of the blue valley NRW reduction pilot project, EWASCO has been able to roll out the results into the entire distribution zone. This has led to reduction in operation costs, better services to the customers, increase in revenue and increased efficiency in O&M (Operation and Maintenance) procedures.

Often simple technologies applied sensibly have led to big savings economically and environmentally. The water saved can now be supplied to other residents who lacked this precious commodity.

Objectives

The first objective aimed for the identification of causes for NRW and problems in the organization. The main objective was the reduction of NRW in the designated pilot area from 60% to 20% through the application of upcoming technology and innovations.

Project Description

Application of upcoming technologies and affordable innovative means for NRW reduction and monitoring, i.e. remote monitoring, innovation with automated pressure reduction valves and zoning:

  • Zonal separation (District Metered Areas = DMAs) by installation of zonal and sub-zonal gate valves and monitoring meters
  • Accuracy test for both domestic and bulk water meters and creation of consumer accuracy standards
  • Establishing a method for pressure management
  • Coming up with a non-revenue reduction plan for the entire supply area
  • Construction quality management
  • Enhanced training for underground leak detection
  • Application of GIS and EPANET in NRW reduction
  • Application of flow measurement and monitoring DF/MNF (Day Flow/Minimum Night Flow)
  • In-house NRW training base for the water utility staff

Results

  • NRW reduction from 68% to 18% in the pilot area
  • NRW reduction from 70 % to 33 % in the entire supply area
  • Pressure management system in place
  • In house NRW training manuals
  • Improvement in construction works quality
  • A company 5 years NRW reduction plan to the target of 25% NRW in place by 2017

Sustainability

Through innovation and application of modern technology, EWASCO has been able to reduce the losses from 68 % (20,000m3) to 18% (5,300 m3) in the pilot zone and 70% to 33% in the entire area. The operation efficiency has improved and more revenue has been generated in the pilot zone (2010 – Ksh 7,680,000 compared to 2012 - Ksh 11,040,000). All these factors combined translate to monetary gains.

Therefore all medium term measures (pipe replacement and meter change) and long-term measures (monitoring, improvement costs) can be financed internally. Short-term measures such as financing some necessary equipment and expertise was financed by JICA.

WAVE Impact

In the period between 2008 and 2010, the WAVEplus programme came in handy by offering various trainings to our Ewasco staff in NRW reduction and CCO. During a TOT (Training of Trainers) course, a non-revenue reduction plan was developed, which was the start of our project.