Published on October 28, 2008
The Impact of Urban Water Loss A survey of global expert opinion October 2008
The research approach What: 100 structured telephone interviews Who: Interviews carried out with IWA membership working in/for the water industry across both the developed and developing world : - Consultancy 33 - University 24 - Research Institute 25 - Other 18 When: Fieldwork carried out in August 2008
What: 100 structured telephone interviews
Who: Interviews carried out with IWA membership working in/for the water industry across both the developed and developing world :
- Consultancy 33
- University 24
- Research Institute 25
- Other 18
When: Fieldwork carried out in August 2008
Scale of water loss condemned as unacceptable…but no surprise for many The world loses around 1 / 3 of its drinking water each year, equivalent to 32billion m 3 and valued at approximately $18 billion. In visual terms this is equivalent to 36,00 Olympic swimming pools every day “… and I find it concerning ”: 93% “… and I find it unacceptable ”: 78% “… and I find it shocking ”: 58% Q: Are you aware of these figures? And do you find these figures…? Base: All respondents (100)
Key negative consequence of water loss is inability of water utilities to provide safe, clean water… The provision of safe, clean water for the world’s urban population Saving money Saving energy Reducing contamination Decreasing chemical usage Q: Which of the following do you consider to be the biggest issue when considering urban water loss? Is it…? Base: All respondents (100)
…and most experts feel water loss could reach crisis point in the next 15 years “ Reducing urban water loss can significantly save energy ”: 94% “ There is an environmental obligation to address water loss”: 92% “ Reducing water loss is vital to supply more people with fresh water ”: 87% “ We are likely to face crisis if water loss is not resolved in the next 15 years”: 67% Q: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Base: All respondents (100)
Overcoming investment and funding barriers key to stemming water loss Lack of awareness Lack of funding Other concerns and priorities Lack of easy-to-work with solutions providers Reluctance to invest based on concern over revenue returns Urban water management solutions are underground and less exciting Lack of interest 30% 4% 4% 16% 8% 13% 14% 7% Main barrier Lack of comprehensive co-ordination 43% Base: All respondents (100) Q: What do you think are the barriers to resolving water loss issues? And which of these is the main barrier to resolving water loss?
Most experts expect utilities to be held financially accountable in next decade… Do you see a time when the water industry will be held accountable for water loss and expected to compensate for this? Base: All respondents (100); All respondents answering ‘yes’ (67) Q: Do you foresee a time when the water industry will be held accountable for water loss and expected to compensate for this? When do you think this is likely to happen? In the next… 5 years 10 years 15 years Beyond this 67%
…but many feel the industry still doesn’t understand true extent of the problem Base: All respondents (100) Do you consider that the water industry as a whole has a clear understanding of the extent of the problem of urban water loss? Q: Do you consider that the water industry as a whole has a clear understanding of the extent of the problem of urban water loss?
Reducing water loss best and most cost effective solution to increasing supply Management of water demand Desalinisation Reduction of water loss Water re-use Don’t know Best solution… Most cost effective solution… Base: All respondents (100) Q: Thinking of the different solutions to increase water supply, which do you think is the best solution? And which is the most cost effective?
A comprehensive approach is required to reduce water loss A comprehensive solution covering all aspects Controlling water pressure in the system Leakage detection and repair Don’t know Base: All respondents (100) Q: If you were tasked with tackling urban water loss, what do you think would be the best way of doing this?
Membership type Research Institute University Consultancy Utility Technology Supplier Industrial Water User - 3% Regulator - 2% Other - 2% Base: All respondents (100)
Geographical distribution of interviews Base: All respondents (100) Developing Developed US/Canada UK Other Europe Scandinavia Asia Africa S. America Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden India, Jordan Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda Argentina, Mexico
For further information please contact: Peter Fecko, M m d: T. 00421 905 213 136, email: [email_address]
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