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  • The urban local bodies (ULBs) in India have reported very high levels of non-revenue water (NRW), which accounts for at least 50 per cent of their water supply. NRW includes water that is lost due to leakages in transmission and distribution networks; consumption that is authorised but not billed; and losses owing to illegal connections and metering inaccuracies.

  • The challenges faced by the majority of ULBs today are quite similar. These are large proportions of water loss in the distribution network, intermittent supply, poor asset management, low tariffs, excessive groundwater withdrawal, deterioration of water quality, lack of capacity in water utilities, and environmental and pollution issues.

  • Some of the ULBs have acknowledged these issues and adopted water network management systems with smart distribution and automation mechanisms to reduce their water losses. District metered areas have also been established to manage water distribution networks. Pipeline repair/replacement works are being carried out to plug leakages and replace obsolete pipes. ULBs are also adopting advanced methods of metering and bill collection. Besides, detailed mapping of assets and underground utilities, and the deployment of leakage control technologies are key steps taken to contain the losses resulting from the increasing NRW levels. Bigger cities such as Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Delhi, Kochi and Bengaluru are actively taking these actions. Tier II and Tier III cities too have started to undertake initiatives/measures to reduce water losses.

  • Private sector participation is also being encouraged in this space for improved efficiency and cost optimisation. Thus, customised solutions are being designed and deployed. New and advanced technologies such as internet of things (IoT)-based smart pipes, leak detection robots and SmartBall leak detection solutions are also gaining prominence.

  • Nevertheless, the experience thus far suggests that there is huge scope for improving service delivery and scaling up investments in NRW reduction strategies. More private sector investment could easily come in if the key constraints are addressed. Although the implementation of NRW reduction strategies and solutions has been slow, there are enough successes to provide a roadmap for the future. Thus, the segment offers huge opportunities for technology providers, manufacturers of pipelines and other key materials, and equipment suppliers.

  • The mission of this conference is to examine the state of water network management in Indian cities with a focus on strategies and solutions for minimising NRW and improving service delivery. The conference will also discuss noteworthy initiatives/best practices, highlight the upcoming opportunities and the key challenges, as well as showcase the latest technologies and equipment.
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