Two-day Training Program on NRW Management,

Manila 9-10 March 2020

Non-revenue water (NRW) continues to be a major challenge for Philippine urban water utilities with current levels of 30-40% in many water districts. Millions of liters of water are lost, and consumers suffer either through intermittent supplies, or lack of access to piped water services. Rapid urban and industrial growth contributes to an increase in water demand, at a time when climate change makes raw water availability uncertain. The resulting water scarcities are hard to manage and impact negatively on economic growth and social equity. The recent water crisis in Metro Manila is the latest episode in a long line of operational weaknesses stemming from factors that include NRW. While the Metro Manila concessionaires claim that the lack of a new water source is to blame for the shortage, the reality is that more than 30% of treated water is lost in the West concession area.

Photo 1: Ryan Baculinao of MIYA discussing data analysis after leak detection and repair.

WaterLinks organized an NRW Management Training program on 9-10 March 2020 in Manila at the request of the National Economic and Development Authority. It was designed and conducted in partnership with United Nations Development Programme, the Philippine Association of Water Districts, and MIYA to respond to the need to strengthen the capacity of water utility operators in the Philippines, especially the smaller Class B and C water districts that have limited knowledge of NRW, its impact on their service performance, and methods to manage it. We had 43 participants comprising management and technical staff in several water districts.

 

Day 1 focused on assessing non-revenue water, understanding the water balance and performance indicators, and rapid NRW assessment. Day 2 focused on the reduction of physical and commercial losses, and asset and customer survey.

 

The participants’ test results were interesting. In the pre-test 35 of 36 test-takers failed the Physical Losses test while 19 (of 36) passed the Commercial Loss test. The post-test results were much better. 30 out of 36 passed the Physical Loss test, and 26 passed the Commercial Loss test. Feedback showed that the majority of the participants were satisfied with the program and believed they would carry back substantial knowledge to their water districts.

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