Using water meters, leakage-detection instruments and state-of-the-art technology
to reduce water losses
Global phenomenon like population growth, climate variability, and ever- expanding industrialisation has strong implications on water availability and resulted in chronic water shortage problem. This has severely impacted Indian region as well. Apart from
this, leakages and theft of water, either through illegal tapping or unmeasured water supply, is also a major problem across India. A pilot study was conducted in the Sheetal Park Area in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) to demonstrate the need
to reduce non-revenue water in the areas served by RMC and to take up a comprehensive programme to minimise non-revenue water. Sheetal Park, in the past faced an estimated water loss equivalent to USD 25 million annually. There was a considerable difference between water supplied (4,000 litres was being supplied to each family) and drawn. The study was conducted in May–December 2013 comprising160 households with a total of 800 people.
• The Danish Water Forum (DWF) was established to promote better use of existing knowledge within the water sector, through global knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners.
• The Danish Trade Council spearheaded the contract between DWF and the Gujarat state government, a role which allowed DWF to gain access to policymakers and key stakeholders.
• The project was facilitated by the Embassy of Denmark in India as part of the Danish government’s growth plan, which was focused on the trifecta of water, energy, and food.
APPROACH & METHODOLOGY
The water audit aimed to provide a general idea about the amount of water lost in the distribution system from the entry point. To measure the quantity of water entering the system and the amount reaching the consumer, DWF procured bulk water meters for the main distribution lines and domestic water meters for consumers, so as to conduct a water audit and assess the water lost for the pilot area. A leakage model for gauging water loss management was developed.
The scope of the study was as follows:
(i) Installation of bulk meters and representative consumer meters in the study area;
(ii) Water audit and assessment of water lost in the distribution system for the pilot area;
(iii) Leakage detection survey using state-of-the-art technology;
(iv) Training on the use of leakage-detection instruments;
(v) Proposing tools to manage water loss specific to the area’s water distribution system; and,
(vi) Suggesting recommendations.
For the study area, 22 flow meters comprising seven bulk meters and 15 representative consumer meters were specifically installed as there was no metering system
available. Once the losses were measured in the system, the leakages were located in the distribution system with leakages detection equipment. Four instruments helped in
precise leakage detection: Aqua M50, Piezo-detection rod, Microcorr touch correlator, and Ground Microphone (X-mic).