The control of water loss in distribution system has been highlighted in multiple discussions in the field of water and sanitation. Still, there are few scientific studies on this topic focussed on loss control performance in developing countries. With the intention to expand the limited scientific framework investigating the management of water losses in economic scarcity scenarios, the paper provides an overview of which practices directed to water loss control are being conducted in a Brazilian region. The data has been collected from 42 water utilities and shows there is a direct relationship between the utilities' performance and the number of water loss practices adopted. The divergences in the number of practices applied by the water utilities may be influenced by technical-operational, planning and management factors. The paper brings greater robustness to the loss management debates in regions with economic scarcity, being able to support the action of utilities operating in similar scenarios.


  • The mix of practices in water loss control is substantial for superior utilities performance.

  • A relationship between water utilities’ performance and number of water loss control practices applied is observed.

  • Factors that's influence water loss control are discussed.

  • A greater robustness to debates of loss management in developing countries is provided.

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