A major challenge facing water utilities is the high level of water losses, which affects the financial viability and adequacy of water in the system. A study was carried out from January to May 2012 to characterize water losses in selected areas of Harare, Zimbabwe. Assessment of the contribution of water leakage to total water loss was carried out through water audits in four selected suburbs. Minimum night flows were determined over a number of days, and the SANFLOW model was used to determine average real losses. The water loss expressed as a percentage of supply in the four suburbs ranged from 29 to 43%, and was above the level expected for well-performing utilities in developing countries of 23%. Leakage contributed most to the water loss (>70%). For the entire city, the study established that non-revenue water ranged from 43 to 74% over the period 2009–2011. The study concludes that water loss management in Harare is poor, and this is affecting the quality of service delivery. There is a need for Harare to take a more proactive approach to water loss management, including periodic water audits.

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