In 2007, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad), the private water and wastewater service provider of the West Zone of Metro-Manila (Philippines), had an enormous challenge ahead: to achieve 100% service coverage in the coming few years with basically no additional water resources; to connect an additional 3 million people still without access to piped water; and to improve the service level to the existing customers. The only way to meet this demand is to reduce water losses from its deteriorated pipe network. Water balance made in that year showed significant total non-revenue water of 1,500 million liters per day which is equivalent to 66% of the total system input volume.
Maynilad recognized that to be financially viable, it needs to address the non-revenue water problem. Thus, the Central NRW team was immediately created in 2008 and was tasked to lead Maynilad's ambitious NRW reduction and management program, which is considered one of the largest NRW projects in the world in terms of amount of water losses and the scope and magnitude of works involved to bring down the high level of NRW.
Maynilad's NRW program involves breaking up the whole network into hydraulically isolated and measurable district metered areas (DMA); monitoring and diagnosing each DMA; developing well-trained and fully equipped leak detection teams to find surfacing and non-surfacing leaks; active leakage control; pressure management; selective pipe replacement/rehabilitation; closing of illegal connections and decommissioning of old distribution pipes; integrated meter management; and a sustained capacity building of NRW teams.
By the end of 2013, 6 years after implementing the NRW program, Maynilad was able to recover more than 700 MLD and managed to bring down the NRW level to 39%. The water that was saved in turn was used to supply additional 400,000 new customers in the expansion areas and generally improved the level of service of the existing customers by providing higher water pressure and longer water availability. These translated to an increase in billed volume by 56 and 107% increase in total revenues for the company.