Non revenue water in Africa

Taken from The African Water Association SHARE WATER Technical Journal. (December 2016).

Click on the following link for the pdf article: sharewater-n°4-2016.

The mastery of statistics, operation and reactivity of its distribution network is one of the tools used to supervise and monitor a water supply system manager.

The data does not only allow us to know how the network evolves, it also enables us how to quickly mobilize teams in the event of a malfunction or major breakdown on a network segment equipped with an automatic monitoring solution. All that is measured, leads to performance improvement and consequently to an increase in output and the customer’ «capital satisfaction».

Unfortunately, in many African water supply companies, data collection methods on the network are outdated. A practice that leads to the huge risk of reliability of this data collected due to human error. An error in readings can have disastrous consequences on the equipment, revenue collection and management. The recorded data, which may seem simple by its character, can have considerable consequences for a company, which may go as far as bankruptcy depending on the size of the damage.

The technological revolution of the present century offers a wide range of innovative solutions to guarantee performance and ensure effective management in the management and monitoring of a water distribution system.  The water sector is hardly devoid of this. It is indeed the expertise proposed by Technolog , an English company which is a subsidiary of Roper Technologies.  Technolog has more than 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of data loggers, pressure modulators, remote management station for drinking water distribution networks, the monitoring of levels of water in reservoirs and sanitation.

This company offers a remote reading and management system via GSM/SMS/GPRS transmission.  They are 5-year energy saving and energy independent equipment that allows for automatic transmission of data at a desired frequency. “The reading is done every day at the


same time so there is some regularity in the reading and we make measurement points, a load curve that gives you all the information on how your network works and from this profile, you see where there is the leak on your network”, ABDOU BA, Sales Director of Technolog France.  “Data that allows you to run your network efficiently on a day-to-day basis. It also helps you to manage the spikes, namely abrupt and the sudden variations on the network that are often caused by the processes used by industrial customers of water companies are continuing,” the Sales Manager of Technolog said, adding that these solutions are added to the existing networks to improve their performance, guaranteeing a 20% saving by modulating the pressure.

A leak reduction technique based on the reduction of pressure on the distribution network during the quiet periods of the network, that is, when demand is low. The implementation of such a system ensures a substantial saving of 12,000 cubic metres of water on small sectors, compared to 50,000 cubic metres on larger ones, the equivalent of a water production plant.  Other advantages of this Technolog innovation include energy saving, better pressure distribution vis-a-vis demand and a revalorization of the status of the sampler.

Pressure modulation ensures, among others, several advantages in the management of the distribution network:

  • Peak demand support;
  • Reduced leakage;
  • Better distribution of the resource at equal capacity provides water to more subscribers;
  • Reduced operating  costs  =  less  leak repairs;
  • Reduced operator stress levels ;
  • Reduction of pump running times ;
  • Reduction of electricity bills.

TECHNOLOG aims to support, advise and train African water companies to maximize their productivity, Technolog commercial director, Mr. ABDOU BA, said.