Harare in drive to reduce water loss

HARARE - Harare City Council has partnered with Vitens Evides International (VEI) on best ways to reduce water loss and non-revenue water.

According to VEI representative Toine Ramaker, the water that Harare produced and the water that is billed do not tally as most of it is lost through burst pipes and illegal connections.

HCC estimates that 65 percent of Harare’s treated water is non-revenue, a loss which threatens service delivery to other parts of the city that do not receive constant supplies of water.

“In 2011 total system input was 213 million cubic metres (Mm3) of water, what was billed was 87 Mm3 translating to a 59 percent loss. In 2012, 63 percent of the water was non-revenue; in 2013, 58 percent was lost.”

“In 2014 it was 60 percent, 2015 was 62 percent, 2016 was 66 percent and by July 2017 Harare had lost 60 percent of its water.

“In 2015 physical losses amounted to 50 Mm3 while 59 Mm3 was lost through commercial losses such as stuck, malfunctioning of missing metres and poor billing,” Ramaker said.

He added that water that is lost cannot be supplied to water stressed zones and also leaking pipes that cause the losses are vulnerable to sewage water intrusion.

Ramaker also said there are more people using water than are being billed which reduces the trust in service delivery by ratepayers.

The VEI representative said every litre of water that cannot be billed reduces potential revenue and threatens the financial viability of Harare Water.

Ramaker emphasised that to reduce commercial non-revenue water losses council needed to have house to house surveys to identify non-registered water users and accuracy testing of prepaid meters.

“Council should introduce hand-held meter reading to improve billing accuracy and also check on water meter data and decrease number of manual inputs in BIQ: supervision and controls.

“From about 109 Mm3 about 50 Mm3 can be recovered in five years. At an average tariff of 61 cents, Harare can have potential revenue of $60 million,” he said.

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