Abstract

Estimating leakage in developing countries’ water networks is challenging as accurate records are needed. Three leakage estimation methods were compared to ascertain which was most suitable for such networks. The factors accounting for the differences in application of these methods to water networks were also ascertained. The water balance and component analysis methods were compared with the modified minimum night flow (MNF) method. The MNF method was modified to make it suitable for networks in developing countries. In the comparison, leakage was estimated at 10 and 18%, respectively, against 11% for the modified MNF. The latter is considered the most suitable for developing countries as all parameters are determined or estimated from field measurements. It was realized that burst flow rates and the infrastructure condition factor used in the water balance and component analysis methods affect the accuracy of leakage estimates. This has implications for further research, as well as policy and practice for developing countries’ water utilities.

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