Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 1913–1930 | Cite as

A Methodology for the Breakdown of NRW into Real and Administrative Losses

  • Abbas Al-Omari


The estimation of Non Revenue Water (NRW) is simple and easy for water suppliers who keep records of the system input volume and the billed authorized consumption. However, the breakdown of NRW into its two main components real and administrative which refers to the unbilled authorized consumption plus apparent losses is not an easy or straight forward task. Methods reported in the literature for the breakdown of NRW into its components are top down approach and bottom up approach. Both approaches suffer from certain limitations and shortcomings that limits their use and reduce our confidence in the results obtained by them. This paper presents a methodology that can be used to draw a line between the real and the administrative losses with an acceptable level of accuracy. This methodology is based on the fact that the administrative losses are delivered to the demand site and consequently reach the wastewater collection system whereas the real losses are lost from the system and consequently do not reach the wastewater collection system. The methodology applies water balance from the water treatment plant outlet till the inlet of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The mass balance approach of the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) system was implemented for this purpose. In this methodology, the breakdown of NRW into its two main components is adjusted iteratively so that the difference between WEAP calculated and measured inflow to the WWTP is minimal. The presented methodology was applied to Amman and Zarqa cities in Jordan which return their wastewater to As Samra WWTP. The results showed that this methodology is capable of dividing NRW water into its two main components with an acceptable level of accuracy.


Administrative losses Non revenue water Real losses Water distribution systems Water Evaluation and Planning system 


  1. Aksela K, Aksela M, Vahala R (2009) Leakage detection in a real distribution network using SOM. Urban Water J 6(4):279–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alegre H, Hirner W, Baptista J, Parena R (2000) Performance indicators for water supply services, manual of best practice series. IWA Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. AL-Washali T (2010) Non-revenue water management in Sana’a water distribution system. master’s thesis, University of JordanGoogle Scholar
  4. Amick R, Burgess E, Camp D (2000) Exfiltration in sewer systems. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publication, CincinnatiGoogle Scholar
  5. Araujo L, Ramos H, Coelho S (2006) Pressure control for leakage minimisation in water distribution systems management. Water Resour Manag 20(1):133–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beck S, Curren M, Sims N, Stanway R (2005) Pipeline network features and leak detection by cross-correlation analysis of reflected waves. J Hydraul Eng 131(8):715–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brunone B, Ferrante M (2001) Detecting leaks in pressurized pipes by means of transients. J Hydraul Res 39:539–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brunone B, Ferrante M (2004) Pressure waves as a tool for leak detection in closed conduits. Urban Water J 1(2):145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buchberger S, Nadimpalli G (2004) Leak estimation in water distribution systems by statistical analysis of flow readings. J Water Resour Plan Manag 130(4):321–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colombo A, Karney B (2002) Energy and costs of leaky pipes: towards comprehensive picture. J Water Resour Plan Manag 128(6):441–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Covas D, Ramos H, de Almeida A (2005) Standing wave difference method for leak detection in pipeline systems. J Hydraul Eng 131(12):1106–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farley M, Wyeth G, Bin Md. Ghazali Z, Istandar A, Singh S (2008) The Manager’s Non-Revenue Water Handbook: A Guide to Understanding Water LossesGoogle Scholar
  13. Gao Y, Brennan M, Joseph P, Muggleton J, Hunaidi O (2004) A model of the correlation function of leak noise in buried plastic pipes. J Sound Vib 277:133–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gao Y, Brennan M, Joseph P, Muggleton J, Hunaidi O (2005) On the selection of acoustic/vibration sensors for leak detection in plastic water pipes. J Sound Vib 283:927–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gao Y, Brennan M, Joseph P (2006) A comparison of time delay estimators for the detection of leak noise signals in plastic water distribution pipes. J Sound Vib 292:552–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Giustolisi O, Savic D, Kapelan Z (2008) Pressure-driven demand and leakage simulation for water distribution networks. J Hydraul Eng 134(5):626–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gleick P, Haasz D, Henges-Jeck C, Srinivasan V, Wolff G, Cushing K, Mann A (2003) Waste not, want not: The potential for urban water conservation in California, a report of the Pacific institute for studies in development, environment, and security, Oakland, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  18. Haghighi A, Ramos H (2012) Detection of leakage freshwater and friction factor calibration in drinking networks using central force optimization. Water Resour Manag 26(8):2347–2363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hirner W, Lambert A (2000) Losses from water supply systems: Standard terminology and recommended performance measures. An IWA task force publication:1–13Google Scholar
  20. Kapelan Z, Savic D, Walters G (2003) A hybrid inverse transient model for leakage detection and roughness calibration in pipe networks. J Hydraul Res 41(5):481–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kapelan Z, Savic D, Walters G (2004) Incorporation of prior information on parameters in inverse transient analysis for leak detection and roughness calibration. Urban Water J 1(2):129–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Karadirek I, Kara S, Yilmaz G, Muhammetoglu A, Muhammetoglu H (2012) Implementation of hydraulic modeling for water-loss reduction through pressure management. Water Resour Manag 26(9):2555–2568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kim S (2005) Extensive development of leak detection algorithm by impulse response method. J Hydraul Eng 131(3):201–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kingdom B, Liemberger R, Marin P (2006) The challenge of reducing Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in developing countries how the private sector can help: A look at performance-based service contracting, water supply and sanitation sector board discussion paper series paper no.8. The world bank groupGoogle Scholar
  25. Lambert A and Taylor R (2010) Water loss guidelines. A guideline for the New Zealand water and wastes association: water New Zealand, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee P, Vıtkovsky J, Lambert M, Simpson A, Liggett J (2005) Leak location using the pattern of the frequency response diagram in pipelines: a numerical study. J Sound Vib 284:1051–1073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. May J (1994) Pressure dependent leakage. World water and environmental engineering, October 1994Google Scholar
  28. Metcalf and Eddy (1991) Wastewater engineering: treatment, disposal, reuse, McGraw-Hill, 3rd ed., SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  29. Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) (2008) Water for life: Jordan’s water strategy 2008–2020Google Scholar
  30. Misiunas D, Vítkovský J, Olsson G, Simpson A, Lambert M (2005) Pipeline break detection using pressure transient monitoring. J Water Resour Plan Manag 131(4):316–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mounce S, Machell J (2006) Burst detection using hydraulic data from water distribution systems with artificial neural networks. Urban Water J 3(1):21–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mpesha W, Chaudhry M, Gassman S (2002) Leak detection in pipes by frequency response method using a step excitation. J Hydraul Res 40(1):55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Muggleton J, Brennan M (2004) Leak noise propagation and attenuation in submerged plastic water pipes. J Sound Vib 278:527–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mutikanga H, Sharma S, and Vairavamoorthy K (2010) Assessment of apparent losses in urban water systems. Water and Environment Journal 25(2011): 327–335Google Scholar
  35. Mutikanga H, Sharma S, Vairavamoorthy K (2011) Multi-criteria decision analysis: A strategic planning tool for water loss management. Water Resour Manag 25(14):3947–3969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pudar R, Liggett J (1992) Leaks in pipe networks. J Hydraul Eng 118(7):1031–1046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Puust R, Kapelan Z, Savic D, Koppel T (2010) A review of methods for leakage management in pipe networks. Urban Water J 7(1):25–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skeel T and Lucas N (1998) Seattle water’s outdoor use study.
  39. Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) (1999) WEAP: Water Evaluation and Planning system. Tellus Institute, BostonGoogle Scholar
  40. Water Loss Committee Review (2007) Water audits and loss control programs, AWWA M36 Publication RewriteGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water, Energy and Environment CenterThe University of JordanAmmanJordan

Personalised recommendations