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Document Name: A 2011/12 Assessment of Non-Revenue Water and Water Losses in South Africa

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This document has been opened: 2 110 times to date.
Date Of Release: 01 Aug 2014
Date Of Expected Review:
Date Last Updated: 01 Aug 2014
Document Type: Existing legislation
Document Level: National
Department: Water & Sanitation
Contact Name: Allestair Wensley
Phone Number: 012 336 8767
Fax Number: 012 336 6609
Directorate: Water Macro Planning
Contact Name: Allestair Wensley
Phone Number: 012 336 8767
Fax Number: 012 336 6609
Topics covered:
Water Conservation & Demand Management
Document Precis:

A 2011/12 Assessment of Non-Revenue Water and Water Losses in South

Section Summary

  Section Number Section Heading Section Description
     1 Introduction INTRODUCTION
South Africa is a water scarce country with limited water resources and a steadily growing water
demand. This is in part due to unacceptably high water consumption, losses and non-revenue
water, which threaten not only our water resource security, but the very financial viability of
municipal water service provision. The water situation has been investigated in South Africa’s 8
metropolitan and 226 local municipalities on a number of occasions since 2002. The 2013
assessment, which gathered data until June or December 2012, is the latest such assessment, each
of which have identified water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM) as key
interventions to balance available supply against the projected future demands.
To manage their water resources sustainably, municipalities need to measure their water use in the
form of a water balance, and to continually update this information and report against WC/WDM
targets. Whilst some municipalities, chiefly the metros, have comprehensive data on a large
number of indicators, many municipalities have only very basic information or even no information.
Such lack of information can usually be ascribed to a lack of water meters or municipal capacity and
know-how. However as more and more information is gathered, so a better picture is being
formed of the actual situation on the ground.
     2 Aim AIM
This report aims to:
i) present the results of the latest (2013) municipal water data collection; and
ii) utilise data collected over a number of years to undertake an assessment of S. Africa’s water
consumption, losses and non-revenue water, in order to gain a strategic perspective of the
current situation and of trends.
     3 Findings FINDINGS i) Water Balance Assessment This 2013 assessment was based on 2011/12 data obtained from 122 of the 234 metropolitan and local municipalities (52%) and is an indication that many municipalities do not monitor and cannot report their water losses. Nevertheless this data does represent about 75% of the total municipal system input volume (SIV). In terms of water losses, the W. Cape is the best performing province and Limpopo the worst, whilst the North West province with only 4 of its municipalities able to provide data, has the least information. As shown in the below figure, non-revenue water (NRW) for the available dataset increased from 28.4% in 2005 to 37.4% in 2011 with a slight improvement to 36.2% in 2012. Unit consumption per capita per day, based on the SIV, increased from 252 l/capita/day in 2005 to 257 l/capita/day in 2011/12, whilst unit consumption per household has remained relatively constant at 27 m 3 /household/month. Authorised consumption per connection has reduced over the past 8 years, indicative of deteriorating metering and billing systems.
     4 Recommendations RECOMMENDATIONS 1. The National Development Plan, which calls for a dedicated national WC/WDM programme with targets, must be implemented. Likewise the recommendations of the 2013 National Water Resource Strategy, which calls for greater emphasis on meeting specific targets to reduce water losses, must be implemented. 2. Municipalities must make water security and WC/WDM priorities. As a start they must ensure meters are in place. DWA, through its No Drop Programme, must ensure that they adhere to the Regulations Relating to Compulsory National Standards and Measures to Conserve Water and that they implement WC/WDM with clear targets and that they report on progress. The DWA project approval process should be used as a municipal incentive to address WC/WDM. 3. DWA regional offices must appoint dedicated WC/WDM personnel who are thoroughly trained so as to do ongoing WC/WDM data acquisition, monitoring and support to municipalities. The reasons for the current lack of data, whether metering, capacity or other, must be investigated and action taken. In this regard, the N West province must be prioritized. Likewise, Limpopo province, with the worst overall performance, needs particular attention. 4. Municipalities must increase their efforts to achieve their WRS targets and reduce NRW and the negative impact it has on their ability to generate own income. The WRS targets must be reviewed on a regular basis. 5. Municipalities must encourage their consumers to appreciate the value of water and enforce the user pays principle. They should also set cost reflective tariffs and increase payment levels by the encouragement of consumer leak fixing, prosecution of illegal water connections and the reduction of water theft. 6. Municipal political support of WC/WDM and asset management is vital. 7. Budget and Supply Chain Management constraints as well as municipal capacity and the lack of meters need to receive attention. 8. Metros, with almost half of the total urban water consumption, are of strategic importance and must be prioritized, whilst B1 municipalities with their particularly poor performance need specific attention.
     5 Report Layout and Context REPORT LAYOUT AND CONTEXT The context of this report is depicted schematically below and is divided into the following 5 chapters. Chapter 1. An introduction and explanatory overview of the water balance and its components, as well as applicable key performance indicators; Chapter 2. National findings, conclusions and recommendations of the 2013 data collection process, based on 122 datasets; Chapter 3. A strategic assessment of water consumption, water losses and non-revenue water utilising data collected not just by this latest initiative, but over a number of years; Chapter 4. Results from the 2013 assessment pertaining specifically to metropolitan, (or category A), municipalities and secondary cities, (or category B1 municipalities): and Chapter 5. A concluding summation.

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