Non-Revenue Water Reduction

Iringa Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (IRUWASA)

After the completion of the Iringa Urban Water Supply Project in 2011, there was a high rate of Non-Revenue Water (NRW), reaching at 60%. The network  coverage was 68% with the average service delivery of 18 hours per day and the water service rationed in Iringa Municipality. The NRW reduction program, initiated by WAVEplus trainings, led to an increase of service delivery to 24 h/day and to a NRW reduction from 60% to 35%.

Contact: Yustin Kabuli | Cell: +255 753556100 | kabuli83(at) | Iringa Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (IRUWASA)

Lessons Learnt

Non-revenue water is severe problem for many of the water supply utilities in Tanzania. In order to reduce the problem the following is recommended:

  • Water Utilities to use high quality of materials (meters and pipes) at the time they repair/rehabilitate or renovate the water supply system.
  • Water Utilities should put aside funds for dealing with Non-Revenue Water Reduction.
  • Training of the staff in management skills and the management of non-Revenue Water reduction
  • Water utilities should put efforts in NRW reduction sensitization to the public; this will make the community aware of the ownership of the facility and reduce vandalism to water infrastructure


  • IRUWASA prepared a Non Revenue Water reduction project proposal and submitted it to the Ministry of Water for funding and support
  • IRUWASA in collaboration with the Ministry of Water (MoW) came up with clear strategies to reduce the NRW originating from real and apparent losses
  • Budget for the reduction of the Non Revenue water was set aside
  • Training of staffs on good management, maintenance procedure and tools of NRW reduction. This increased staff awareness and creativity on methods of repairing leakages
  • Implementation of the NRW reduction program according to the developed strategies

Project Description

The implementation of the NRW Reduction Program was done through the following activities:

  • (i) Training staffs on the good management skill and NRW reduction procedure. (For example: Meter Readers were trained on how to use the data loggers in order to reduce the apparent loss.)
  • (ii) Conducting the mid night flow to assess the minimum night flow. Average midnight flow was 100m3/h. After the implementation it could be reduced to 35m3/h
  • (iii) Investigation of the meter correctness as well as the customer consumption if it real correlates with the consumption
  • (iv) Assessing the meter readers to check wether they are doing their jobs. Internal audit done every month to see if the team is performing well
  • (v) Establishment of zones, this has helped in controlling the operating pressure to be within the range required of 1.5 to 7 bar
  • (vi) Establishing clear procedures of the new connection, the authority is responsible in purchasing all the material required, surveying the area. This led to proper meter location, proper connections and use of standard material
  • (vii) Sensitization of the community involvement on safeguarding the water lines and other authority’s properties. Contacts are distributed in every billing sheet which makes 95% of the municipality access to the communication with the authority. This has brought positive result on reporting leakage issues as well as the reduction of theft


The average midnight flow has been reduced from 100m3/h before start of the program to now 35m3/h after implementation.  The NRW  rate is reduced from 60% of the water produced to 35% after implementation. The service delivery level increased to 24 hours instead of 18 hours before the innovation. Also the water rationing habit has been abolished. The power used for the pumping the water could be reduced and revenue collection increased.


In order to make the NRW reduction program continuous, IRUWASA formed a department to deal with the NRW reduction program. This department is responsible for the reduction of the physical water and commercial water losses together with advising the management on short and long term measures for the Non-Revenue Water Reduction Program.

WAVE Impact

IRUWASA staff attended several trainings and e-Learning courses offered by WAVE on CCO and NRW. IRUWASA also provided trainers and resource persons for the national WAVE training workshop. The knowledge acquired from the workshops was used for capacity development among the staff of IRUWASA who were trained on the proper NRW reduction strategies and methods for effective repair and maintenance.