A study of non-revenue water management in Lidgetton, uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
Non-Revenue Water management is a global challenge affecting developing and developed countries and it is one of the vital elements of water management for any water service providers and Water boards. One of the communities affected by Non-Revenue Water is Lidgetton Township which is situated in UMgungundlovu District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Province. It is a complex task to quantify and characterize water losses. This study investigates possible methods that can be used in Lidgetton to manage Non-Revenue Water, and the state of readiness for the municipality in measuring and monitoring both aspects of water losses, real and apparent. In this study an attempt is made to identify the causes of high water consumption in Lidgetton Township by assessing the awareness level of municipal employees, and policies used by the municipality to manage Non-Revenue Water. Questionnaires were distributed to 115 municipal employees from different sections involved in Non-Revenue Water management, and only 110 were returned. Each questionnaire had 53 questions in total, and was divided into four sections. The data that was collected from respondents was analysed using SPSS version 22.0. A high percentage of respondents believed that water loss can be calculated in general. However, responses showed that few believed that the municipality has sufficient technical capacity to monitor water usage. Almost half of them respondents do not think that the municipality takes Non-Revenue Water management seriously. The results also show that more than half of respondents think that the municipality should focus on real losses in order to reduce NRW. It is therefore recommended that in order for the municipality to manage Non-Revenue Water it must acquire equipment that can detect leaks and also measure water usage vigorously. Policies addressing water losses and water usage should be promulgated, adopted by the full council and implemented consistently. It is also recommended that all municipal employees involved in Non-Revenue Water management related tasks be trained to manage Non-Revenue Water, regardless of their position and department they are in. Amongst the many methods of measuring Non-Revenue Water, there are some methods which are not suitable to be used in Lidgetton due to the type of existing water and sanitation infrastructure.
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