What is Non-Revenue Water (NRW)? What are the consequences of NRW?

Defined by the International Water Association [1], NRW refers to water which is not billed and hence, no payment is received by the water entity for its consumption. The obvious consequence of NRW is the adverse financial consequences for the utility company. Furthermore, significant NRW can lead to rising unmet water demands combined with requirements for more resources and operational expenses to supply additional water. Understanding elements of Non-Revenue Water are crucial for the good governance of the water supply system by a utility company. Non-Renevue Water is composed of Apparent Losses (AL) and Real Losses (RL).


1.     M. Farley, "Non-revenue water–international best practice for assessment, monitoring and control," in 12th Annual CWWA Water, Wastewater & Solid Waste Conference, 2003.