Broad Action Planning (BAP)

Management of NRW

After a series of NRW trainings under the WAVEplus programme, NWWSC was one of the two utilities in Zambia which developed a BAP to address the NRW challenge. NRW was above 50%; the exact figure was not known because the CU lacked the skills to employ techniques of calculating NRW. Because of the high NRW, supply hours were as low as 3 hours on average. Billing and collections were also very low. Adopting the holistic BAP approach, the level of NRW could be reduced to acceptable limits.

Contact: Kayembo Kazembe | kayembokc(at) | North Western Water and Sewerage Company, Zambia

Lessons Learnt

  • CU has demonstrated that it is possible to reduce NRW to acceptable limits with a Broad Action Planning (BAP)
  • CU is now embarking on implementing the long term activities
  • NWWSC is the Best Water Utility in NRW Management


  1. Evaluate each water supply system in terms of operational performance and develop a water balance according to IWA standards to identify main water loss contributing factors
  2. Develop recommendations on possible water loss reduction interventions for each system with costs implications and potential benefit to reduce these losses
  3. Prioritise interventions with time scales to provide a short, medium and long term project implementation plan
  4. Implement some of the interventions (short and medium term)

Project Description

The project was started in 2007. Our general approach to further reduce non-revenue water in the project area was:

  • Minimize administrative/ commercial losses through zonal water balancing
  • Achieve 100% metering, so that there are no illegal connections/ consumption
  • Introduction of best practices in leak detection, repair, control and monitoring through refresher training courses.
  • Procure additional leak repair materials, water meters & logistical equipment


All medium and short term measures were carried out:

  • Developed water balance for the CU
  • Formation of NRW Task Force Team
  • Reduced NRW from 34% to 30%
  • Improved Water Supply from an average of 20 to 23 hrs yet water production reduced from 4million m3 to 3.8m3 and connections increased from 5,806 to 8,313
  • Detailed capturing of data on leak and prompt repairs. Ensuring availability of materials for quick reaction to repairs and preventive maintenance
  • Controlled Pressure by supplying through distribution centres
  • Update of Network maps is still ongoing
  • Billing ratio improved from 82% to 92%


Broad Action planning has been adopted as a planning methodology for interventions for managing NRW. These Broad Action Plans feed into the overall strategic plan of the company.

WAVE Impact

The initiative of Broad Action was born by the WAVEplus programme. This was in a quest to develop a holistic approach towards the management of NRW as opposed to dealing with the isolated components. An external consultant was engaged to assist the utility with developing the plans; the consultancy works were funded by the WAVEplus programme. Implementation of the Broad Action Plans was funded jointly by the utility for the short and medium term interventions. The utility is now sourcing funds from the government and cooperating partners for the long term plans.