The growing demand for municipal water due to population increase and urbanization impels water managers to reconsider the existing traditional supply-sided management approach. Strengthening of water demand management (WDM) policies by improving water use efficiency has been adopted as a key target in arid regions, in particular. Indeed, increasing the added value per m3 of water used is gaining importance, since it is a more environmentally-friendly strategy with regard to water resource management than expanding water infrastructure assets. Monitoring the water use efficiency index is the commonly applied method for assessing the performance of municipal water management that depends on physical (real) losses and non-physical (apparent) losses constituting non-revenue water (NRW).

In this paper, the results of the study conducted in three medium-size urban settlements, namely Ordu, Çarşamba and Ceyhan, are presented. Field surveys and evaluation of the data relating to municipal customer service have been carried out. In the light of the findings covering a four-year period between 2004–2007, the origin and reasons for NRW, and the means and tools for reducing it in order to improve water use efficiency are discussed.

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