Water scarcity is a real problem, with manageable solutions

WATER SCARCITY SOLUTIONS

A catalogue of best practice solutions to addressing the growing water scarcity challenge

Call for solutions – WSS

The 2030 Water Resources Group has brought together case studies from around the world of currently available, replicable and practical solutions for water use transformation. The solutions have been collected in this online catalogue ‘Managing Water Use in Scarce Environments’ and is meant to inspire action and use by leading industry, policy makers and the 2030 WRG country programs.

The team is looking for additional case studies. Submitting your case is easy. See guidelines and details »

Conventional textile dyeing is water intensive and generates highly polluted water that must be subject to costly treatment processes prior to discharge into rivers. A new commercial scale dyeing technology for dyeing synthetic fabric, DyeOx, has been implemented in Taiwan that utilises carbon dioxide (C02) instead of water in the dyeing process. The factory that is the subject of this case study installed two machines that produce 920 000 kg of fabric per annum and resulted in a reduction in water withdrawals of 8 256 000m3 when benchmarked against conventional dyeing methods.

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A new commercial scale dyeing technology for dyeing synthetic fabric, DyeOx, has been implemented in Taiwan that utilises carbon dioxide (C02) instead of water in the dyeing process. The technology uses no water, no auxiliary chemicals and reduced energy when compared to conventional processes.

The technology was conceived at DELFT University and commercialized by the start up DyeCoo and Tong Siang Co., a dyehouse in Thailand.

Nike, the global sportswear chain, recognizing the potential of the technology in helping to achieve its sustainability objectives, entered into a strategic partnership with DyeCoo in 2012 to implement the waterless dyeing technology in one of their Taiwanese factories. This led to a further three Taiwanese factories, who supply other major sportswear brands such as Adidas, making the investment decision to implement the technology.

Intervention features:

Waterless dyeing technology, Zero waste water discharge

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
8.256.000

Corn production in Italy is constrained by unreliable and expensive water supply. In search for improved irrigation practices, three farms near Milan, installed a drip irrigation system coupled with soil moisture monitoring as part of the AquaTEK™ programme. This system allows farmers to irrigate only when needed, without stressing the plants by supplying too much or too little water.

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In a search for improved irrigation practices, three farms near Milan, installed a drip irrigation system coupled with soil moisture monitoring as part of the AquaTEK™ programme. This system allows farmers to irrigate only when needed, without stressing the plants by supplying too much or too little water. The system also allows for more precise application of fertilisers (fertigation), and thus minimises the leaching of excess nutrients into the ground.

The intervention was developed and implemented through a public private partnership between Monsanto, NETAFIM™ Italia, HydroBio Inc and the University of Milan.

Intervention features:

Drip irrigation systems, Soil moisture content monitoring, Fertigation systems, Remote monitoring and sensing

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
3.800

In Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, major environmental concerns threaten the economies and livelihoods that depend on the natural resources of the basin as well as the ecosystems that occupy it. The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) is a cross border initiative funded by the World Bank designed to rehabilitate some of the major environmental concerns present in the Lake Victoria Basin. One of the pollution hot spots targeted under the program was the Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries factory (KSAI) in Kisumu, Kenya.

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The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP) is a cross border initiative funded by the World Bank designed to rehabilitate some of the major environmental concerns present in the Lake Victoria Basin.

One of the pollution hot spots targeted under the program was the Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries factory (KSAI) in Kisumu, Kenya. Under a resource efficient and cleaner production project, the factory reduced pollutant loads of its effluent discharge by 70%. This was achieved through a series of process efficiency measures including metering & controlling, leakage reparation, water reuse and improved wastewater treatment.

Intervention features:

Improvement in water quality, Industrial leakage detection and repair, Water audits

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
120.000

The south and east of England has an average annual rainfall of around 700mm, with effective rainfall only about 400mm; much less in drought years. The low rainfall, coupled with a high density of population, forecast significant growth and the potential impact of climate change mean that an already water-stressed region will become even more so over the next two decades. In 2010, Southern Water Services Ltd (SWS), in order meet the supply-demand gap, commenced a five year project to install 500,000 intelligent meters. This was accompanied by significant customer engagement and a leakage reduction programme in order to demonstrate that the company was also working to reduce losses.

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The government and its regulators require all water companies in England and Wales to plan water resources at least 25 years ahead to ensure secure supplies. This is a twin track approach where the company must consider the cost-effectiveness of demand management measures before they propose resource developments. In 2009 compulsory water metering was identified as the preferred option for meeting the supply demand gap and in 2010 SWS commenced a five year project to install 500,000 intelligent meters. This was accompanied by significant customer engagement and an aggressive leakage reduction programme in order to demonstrate that the company was also working to reduce losses. The metering programme resulted in a 16.5% reduction in water demand.

Intervention features:

Demand Management Through Metering

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
10.220.000

Cajamarca is a mid-size town located in the northern Sierra of Peru. The town lies in a close proximity of the South America`s largest gold mine, Yanacocha. There has been tension over access to potable water for Cajamarca`s residents due to the seasonal rainfall distribution and the lack of appropriate natural water capacity of the river basins. In March 2012, Yanacocha formed a public private partnership (PPP) with the City of Cajamarca and the Cajamarca Water and Sewerage Company (SEDACAJ) and agreed to provide investment to finance new water infrastructure projects in Cajamarca.

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Yanacocha implemented a comprehensive water management strategy at the mine releasing 35 000 000m3 of treated effluent per year into the local river. Furthermore, as part of a proposed expansion and in order to address environmental concerns and ongoing disputes over water, it decided to extend its water management programme beyond the mine boundary.

In March 2012, Yanacocha formed a public private partnership (PPP) with the City of Cajamarca and the Cajamarca Water and Sewerage Company (SEDACAJ) and agreed to invest $13 000 000 between 2012 and 2020 to finance new water infrastructure projects in Cajamarca. This long-term investment project is administered by the Association of Los Andes Cajamarca – ALAC (a local NGO).

Intervention features:

PPP funding, Stakeholder engagement, Alternative water sources, Upgrades to potable water infrastructure

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
12.148.120

The textile industry is a pillar of the Bangladesh economy, accounting for about 80% of the country’s exports. However, rapid and unplanned growth of the sector imposes increasing stresses on the water environment in Dhaka, where groundwater levels decline at a rate of 2.5m/yr, and other industrial centres in Bangladesh.

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Weak enforcement of groundwater licencing and effluent treatment standards has led to high rates of water use in the textile mills and discharge of toxic effluents into the surface water bodies.

The Water PaCT Bangladesh is a partnership founded to drive the wet processing textile sector in the country towards a more sustainable performance and better water and resource efficiency. The partnership is sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and numerous international apparel buyers and implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Solidaridad and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). PaCT helps individual factories identify and implement Cleaner Production (CP) measures in water, energy and chemical use in the dye house, within the factories’ utilities and effluent treatment plants (ETPs), and through housekeeping. These measures are typically low-cost and easy to implement bringing quick investment return to the factories.

Intervention features:

Industrial water management, Wastewater reuse in textile industry, Water audits, Education, Technical training and capacity building, Stakeholder engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
13.400.000

The project was implemented on the two main canal and branch networks in the Nile Delta in Mahmoudia and Mit Yazid. It has involved an extensive relining of irrigation canals to substantially reduce leakage, this has been combined with institutional reform to decentralize operational decision making and accountability and training and education of farmers on on-farm water management to increase productivity.

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Egypt has less than 700 m3 per capita per annum freshwater availability of which 85% is withdrawn for irrigation purposes. The Integrated Irrigation Improvement and Management Project (IIIMP) in the Nile Delta has been implemented to improve water distribution, quantity, quality, equity and timeliness and hence to increase agricultural production and alleviate poverty.

Intervention features:

Institutional reform, Stakeholder Engagement, Education, Technical training and capacity building, Irrigation metering, Infrastructure improvement for leakage reduction

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
500.000.000

The textile industry forms a critical part of the Indian economy contributing 4% of total GDP and employing over 45 000 000 people. The processing of textiles is, however, a significant user of freshwater and poses significant pollution challenges in the disposal of its wastewater.

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The Arvind textile mill located near Kalol, Ahmedabad District, India uses over 6.5 million m3 of process water per year. Limitations on groundwater extraction coupled with the lack of a nearby location for effluent discharge led to the implementation of a complete water reuse system.

The total water available from the local aquifers is approximately 1.5 million m3/yr with the rest of the process water being provided through wastewater re-use. The unit cost of re-using process waste water was between $4-6 /m3 which is a very high unit cost particularly when compared to ground water abstraction rates.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse in textile industry

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
5.035.606

The $700 million public-private funded irrigation modernization project was implemented in 30 states in Mexico to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the irrigated agriculture and achieve higher farm productivity and revenues. The project implemented a suite of improvements to the irrigation infrastructure in order to improve the productivity per unit of water.

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In addition, operational responsibilities were decentralized and the irrigation infrastructure was transferred to local water user associations (WUA); a key requirement for the financing provided by IBRD (World Bank).

The locally prioritized improvement plans by the WUAs delivered the rehabilitation of the irrigation system supplying water to 427 100 hectares of farmland. The reduction in leakage in the system coupled with improved on-farm water management made 1 183 million m3 of water available for use and directly benefitted 1.1 million irrigation farmers.

Intervention features:

Education, Training and capacity building, Irrigation metering

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1.183 M

SABMiller India partnered with local stakeholders in Alwar to implement a basin-wide groundwater management initiative which ensures the security and sustainability of the local deep aquifer. The deep aquifer is the only reliable source of water supply for the agricultural, industrial and municipal sectors in the semi-arid region. The seasonal monsoon rainfall is the only other source of water supply.

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So a plan was launched to increase groundwater recharge through the construction of six recharge structures. Scheduled training programs for local farmers on water efficiency practices were also implemented to reduce withdrawal for agricultural purposes.

This is benefiting more than 4 000 farms on a regular basis. In addition, water efficient agricultural practices were showcased by 136 knowledge farms covering 105 ha in 68 villages. The project was financed by SABMiller India. The initiative has improved the management of the local deep aquifer and the security of supply for the Roches Brewery in Neemrana.

Intervention features:

Alternative water sources, Education, technical training and capacity building, Stakeholder engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
2,366,400 m3/yr

In the last two decades Rustenburg in South Africa has experienced a rapid population growth due to the expansion of mining operations in the region. This significantly increased both municipal and industrial water demands and overwhelmed the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment works.

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The water services provider, Rustenburg Municipality, was rated as the 3rd most distressed in South Africa and thus unable to raise the finance required to address the problems. To address this challenge, a joint initiative was undertaken between the mines and the municipality to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a 22-year concession to finance, upgrade and operate water infrastructure. The key to the success of the SPV was the signing of a long term offtake agreement with the mines for the provision of non-potable treated wastewater. This forms 75% of the SPV’s revenue. The mines previously relied on freshwater that was imported from neighboring catchments. The move to the use of non-potable has enabled the re-allocation of the imported freshwater to the municipality thus increasing the overall freshwater resource that is available in the catchment. Partial improvements in downstream water quality have also been made through better wastewater treatment.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse, Institutional reform

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
13,505,000

Shandong is one of the largest textile producing provinces in China, and one of four targeted under the IFC China Water Program. Yuyue Home Textile Co. is located in Binzhou City. It specialises in weaving, printing, embroidery sewing and supplying home textile products.

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As part of China’s 5 year plan launched in 2011, all of China’s textile manufacturers must cut energy and water use by 16% and 30% respectively by 2015 or face a penalty fine or closure. Yuyue is a supplier of the global furniture chain IKEA. Upon encouragement from IKEA, the factory joined the IFC China Water Program in 2012. The IFC and IKEA contributed to the cost of conducting water and energy efficiency audits. Interventions, funded by Yuyue, were made to upgrade machinery and control systems. Total water withdrawal was reduced by 325 000 m3 per year and energy consumption was reduced by 8 874 MWh per year.

Intervention features:

Water audits, Education, technical training and capacity building, Enforcement of quotas, Textile processing technologies

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
325,000

Effluent re-use for irrigation is vital in water conservation in Israel, helping to facilitate reduced freshwater withdrawal nation-wide. Now, over 40% of Israel’s agricultural water needs are currently supplied by effluent water.

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The Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Facility is Israel’s largest wastewater treatment and reuse facility. The facility is located south of Tel Aviv, close to the coast and supplies approximately 140 000 000 m3 per year of reclaimed water to the Negev Desert in the south of Israel for agricultural use on 50 000 acres of irrigated lands.

Intervention features:

Groundwater recharge, Wastewater reuse for agriculture, Non-potable water distribution system, Reduced water rates for reclaimed water

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
140,000,000

Udaipur is a popular tourist destination located in the economically active yet severely water scarce Indian state of Rajasthan. The city had failing wastewater infrastructure and was struggling to maintain the cleanliness of its lakes, which had been historically absorbing raw residential sewage. At the same time, the major corporate zinc mining company Hindustan Zinc (a subsidiary of Vedanta Group Ltd) was increasing production and exploring options for additional water resources, which would reduce their dependence on fresh water withdrawal.

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A forward-thinking public-private partnership (PPP) deal between the Hindustan Zinc and the local government (Udaipur Municipal Corporation and Rajasthan State-Owned Urban Improvement Trust) was formed in May 2012 to develop the city`s first Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) which addressed both stakeholders objectives.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse for agriculture, Wastewater reuse as cooling water, Wastewater recycling for industrial use, PPP funding

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
7,300,000

Water is one of Anglo American’s mining group largest consumables with a 2014 annual use of approximately 200 million m3. This, along with the Group’s geographical exposure of >70% operations in water stress basins, makes water a recognized strategic risk. Water efficiency was introduced as a core element of the Groups water strategy and program in 2011. Every Anglo American operation within the business works towards a water reduction target that was determined using an innovative approach named the “Water Efficiency Target Tool” (WETT).

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WETT, forecasts the projected business-as-usual (BAU) water demand of individual operations and establish a register of cost effective water efficiency interventions. It then links the two to identify future performance targets. By the end of 2014, the WETT program had achieved the corporate water reduction target originally set for 2020 (a 13.9% reduction on projected BAU use).

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse in mines, Condensate recovery and reuse, Rainwater harvesting, Corporate water efficiency programme

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
36,000,000

The seafood and fish processing industry consumes high volumes of water in order to maintain appropriate hygiene levels and prevent the products from spoilage. In addition up to 70% of the raw fish is discarded as waste, predominantly through the wastewater system of the processing facilities, producing heavy organic effluent.

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The Pakyurek seafood processing plant located in Adana primarily produces canned marinated anchovy. The groundwater aquifer, from which the plant is abstracting fresh water for its operations, has been recognised as extremely vulnerable to climate change. The company was selected to participate in the UN Joint Programme “MDG-F 1680 Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adopt Climate Change”, as it operates in a priority industrial sector in the Seyhan River Basin. The programme provided Pakyurek with partial funding and technical advice in order to improve its water footprint. The evaluation of the anchovy processing revealed potential for water reuse and waste minimisation.

Water treatment units were installed in the thawing (defrosting with water) and gutting stages to reduce water withdrawals by up to 70%. An oil separator was fitted within the new wastewater system and valuable fish oils were recovered as a by product. The project was delivered with the support of the Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV) in collaboration with the Middle East Technical University(METU) and was partially financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Intervention features:

Wastewater recycling in the food industry, Education, technical training and capacity building, Industrial water management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
29,000

Located on the lake Taihu (or Tai) in the Zhejiang Province west of Shanghai, Huaneng Power International`s Changxing Power Plant is a new 1.3GW high efficiency ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant. Water pollution and water scarcity are the two main environmental concerns of the region.

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With annual precipitation of 1 000–1 500mm, Lake Taihu gets fair amount of rain but not enough to meet the growing demands of industries located on the lake (chemical, metal, printing, dying industries) and the rapidly growing population. Since the last major algae bloom in April 2007, licence to operate has only been given to industrial plants that control their effluent discharges and air emissions tightly and reduce their water intake from the lake. This environment, together with a national policy on sustainable water resource management under the China 12th five-year plan of 2011-2015 has led to the implementation of the most rigorous zero liquid discharge treatment.

Operational since May 2015, the wastewater treatment process produces annually 231 000 m3 of treated effluent collected from the Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) process and cooling tower blow-down and reused in the boiler feedwater purification system. The softening pretreatment sludge is disposed of in a landfill and salts from the process are dried to >95.5% solids and sold to the local chemical industry, cutting the wastewater discharge to zero.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse in power generation, Reuse of cooling blowdown water, Zero liquid discharge, National and regional policies

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
231,000

The Olifants River Water Resources Development Project (ORWRDP) is to increase the availability of freshwater in the Olifants catchment and to deliver bulk water for social and economic development in the Strategic Development corridor in Limpopo Province. This is one of the South African governments strategic integrated projects (SIPs), which aims to speed up development and growth across South Africa through job creation and basic service delivery.

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Activities have included raising of the Flag Boshielo Dam and the construction of the De Hoop dam together with associated delivery infrastructure. Half of the new infrastructure capacity is reserved for 800 000 domestic users, with the rest targeted towards economic growth. The initial phase of the intervention was completely funded by the mining sector while later phases are publically funded. The project increased the storage, catchment yield and conveyance capacity in the Olifants River catchment to reduce barriers to economic growth.

Intervention features:

Capture of surface water, Public private nance model

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
118,000,000

The Ica Home Farm is Monsanto`s largest vegetable seed manufacturing site in Peru. It produces more than half of firm`s global production of melon seeds, but also growing tomato, watermelon, cucumber and cauliflower seeds. The farm covers an area of 200ha and employs over 1 500 people.

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Located on the Pacific coast in the Ica Valley desert, it has ideal, sunny weather conditions for growing crops all-year-round, but is impacted by water scarcity. With an annual rainfall of only 3mm per year, the main water source for the farm has been the underground aquifer. However, with agriculture farms booming and more farmers drilling for water, the aquifer levels have dropped from 35m to 50m between 2000 and 2012, and salinity levels have increased. In 2011 the Government issued a regulation prohibiting any new wells to be drilled in the area, forcing local farmers to relocate or adapt to new conditions.

The Ica Home Farm commenced a program to adapt to the new circumstances. In 2011 it installed a Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant that treats 200 000m3/yr of saline groundwater. Between 2012 – 2014, the farm implemented a series of measures to reduce its water withdrawals including the introduction of a new conduction and pruning system for melon seeds, a new grafting technique for watermelons, the installation of moisture sensors and transitioning from soil to soilless cultivation.

Intervention features:

Irrigation management, Irrigation systems, Evapotranspiration reduction, Improvement in water quality, Education, technical training and capacity building

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
298,265

SamSamWater Foundation in collaboration with NGO Chamavita and the community in Kwemakame in Tanzania successfully implemented a small scale aquifer recharge scheme capturing the rainwater runoff from the rocky steep slopes of the local Usambara mountain range. The area suffers from reduced rate of infiltration due to deforestation, resulting in higher runoff from exposed bedrock and increase in water abstraction due to rapid population growth.

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SamSamWater Foundation in collaboration with NGO Chamavita and the community in Kwemakame in Tanzania successfully implemented a small scale aquifer recharge scheme capturing the rainwater runoff from the rocky steep slopes of the local Usambara mountain range. The area suffers from reduced rate of infiltration due to deforestation, resulting in higher runoff from exposed bedrock and increase in water abstraction due to rapid population growth.

Intervention features:

Institutional reform and capacity building, Stakeholder engagement, Alternative water sources

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1,200

The industrial sector accounts for 30% of Jordan’s GDP and is a major driver of growth. The country is classified by the World Resources Institute as one of the 30 most water stressed countries in the world with a water supply deficit projected to reach 365 million cubic meters by 2030.

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The ongoing water scarcity crisis poses a major threat to the economic stability of the industrial sector and Jordan as a whole.  The USAID Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation Programme ran from 2010-2015. Two of its four major tasks focused on institutional capacity building and pollution prevention for industry.

The project team worked with the Ministry of Environment (MoEnv) to build their regulatory capacity and strengthen national capacity to analyse industrial water use and effluent discharges. The programme targeted 30 factories in which detailed water and energy efficiency audits were conducted. This drove a programme of interventions that were self financed by the 30 target facilties and reduced water withdrawals by 739 000 m3 per annum.

Intervention features:

Institutional reform, Education, technical training and capacity building, Stakeholder engagement, Water audits, Energy audits

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
739,000

Groundwater has been used for irrigation in the Upper Guadiana Basin for centuries. The region is semiarid, with an annual rainfall of 415mm, and is characterized by interconnecting aquifers and groundwater dependent ecosystems like the Tablas da Daimiel National Park wetland.

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In 1988, under pressure from environmental and conservation groups, the government initiated a series of legislative changes in an attempt to restore the wetlands and better regulate aquifer withdrawal. Implementation has proved to be challenging, with local farmers in particular concerned that restrictions on abstraction would impact on their livelihood. The 2008 Upper Guardiana Basin Plan identified a range of ambitious further measures to manage water resources.

Intervention features:

Irrigation metering, Subsidies to reduce groundwater abstractions, Enforcement of quotas, Transformation of water rights, Education, technical training and capacity building

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
400,000,000

Oyu Tolgoi (OT) is one of the world’s largest copper-gold deposits located in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Rio Tinto, the multi-national metals and mining corporation, have a 66% ownership stake in, whilst the Mongolian Government owns 34%. Once fully operational, the mine could increase Mongolia’s GDP by 35% by 2020.

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The Southern Gobi Region has little to no surface water. In order to maximise productivity in this water stressed environment, the mine have installed extensive water reuse systems, highly efficient tailings, zero/low water use equipment and floating lagoon covers to reduce evaporative losses.

The negative perception of the mining industry in the region is being tackled through the formation of the South Gobi Water and Mining Industry Roundtable. The mine have been able to share their good water management practices, as well as effective community engagement strategies, with other mines in the region in order to promote good practice across the industry.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse in mines, Stakeholder engagement, Wastewater recycling for industrial use

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
28,038,000

The coastal city of Tarragona, with an annual precipitation of just 560 mm, has been supplied with water by a man-made water transfer system from the Ebro River since 1989. However, the city has been struggling to keep up with growing water demands from residents and the growing petrochemical industry.

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In 2011, the Catalan Water Agency decided to construct the Camp de Tarragona Water Reclamation Plant. This plant treats municipal secondary effluent collected from two urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTP Tarragona and WWTP Vila Seca-Salou) and generates 6.8 million m3 of reclaimed effluent per year for use in water for cooling towers and boilers at the local petrochemical complex.

This approach was supported by the Chemical Business Association of Tarragona (AEQT) and Tarragona Industrial Water Company (AITASA) that represented the trade and technological needs of the industrial end-users operating at the Complex, such as Dow Chemical and Repsol. The project was financed by the EU Cohesion Funds (85%) and the Catalonian Government and the Spanish Ministry of the Environment (15%).

Intervention features:

Wastewater recycling for industrial use, Wastewater reuse as cooling water, Provision of grants

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
6,800,000

Lima gets an average of just over 25mm of rainfall per year. However, from June to November much of the city is covered in thick sea mist that does not precipitate. The Green Desert project aimed to harness the potential of the mist to bring additional source of water for the communities living in the outskirts of Lima.

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The project was delivered in the Bellavista community in Villa del Triunfo settlement after consideration of the geographical suitability of the location and the community eagerness to participate.

Intervention features:

Fog collection, Irrigation systems, Stakeholder engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
300

The chemical industry is extremely important for the Turkish economy, accounting for approximately 10% of the total exports. Access to the neighbouring European Union (EU) market requires compliance with the tight EU environmental regulations.

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The industry is also heavily reliant on the availability of energy, water and resources and vulnerable to climate change. A pilot project was launched in the Advansa SASA chemical plant in Adana to assess the benefits of sustainable production practices within the industry including measures to reduce cooling water use

Intervention features:

Water audit, Installation of air cooled heat pumps

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
151,500

Agriculture is the biggest consumer of fresh water in South Africa with irrigation accounting for approximately 43% of the available water resources in the Western Cape Province. Within this region, on average citrus fruits and grapes can demand as much as 7 000-11 000 m3/ha/yr of water for irrigation.

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FruitLook (www.fruitlook.co.za) is an open web portal that runs during the grape and deciduous fruit season of October to April in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

The service is governmentally funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to encourage efficient water use in agriculture and minimise losses due to surplus use. Via the website farmers have access to spatial data based on satellite information to analyse crop growth and water status over time and space.

Intervention features:

Irrigation scheduling, Soil moisture content monitoring, Remote monitoring and sensing, Management of evaporation losses, Stakeholder engagement, Education, technical training and capacity building

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
10,150,000

Water scarcity and low soil fertility negatively impact the productivity of smallholder farmers. Increasing population and the effects of climate change threaten productivity further still. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, COOPERNIC (a sourcing alliance of major European retailers) partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to improve food security of smallholder farmers in India, Guatemala and Madagascar.

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Scaling-up of Micro Irrigation Systems (SCAMPIS) implemented between 2009-2012, and aimed to increase farm productivity to create surpluses for local consumption and markets. Through a focus on financial support mechanisms and supply-chain capacity building, the project engaged with 8 800 households in the adoption of Micro-Irrigation technology across five districts in Madagascar. Uptake of the Micro Irrigation Systems (MIS) led to a 41% increase in agricultural productivity and a 69% reduction in water abstraction.

Intervention features:

Drip irrigation systems, Stakeholder engagement, Subsidies for the purchase of water saving appliances, Education, technical training and capacity building

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
641,500

Flemington Race Course is home to the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and sits on the banks of the tidal Maribyrnong River in Melbourne, Australia. An annual water use of approximately 400 000 m3 puts VRC in Victoria’s top 100 water users. Between 2007 and 2009, Victoria and Southeast Australia suffered a prolonged drought.

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Concurrently, the price of water in Melbourne rose from $0.91 per m3 in 2007 to $2.57 per m3 in 2015. The VRC responded to these events by seeking cost effective opportunities to reduce the Racecourse’s dependence on fresh water. VRC invested in a new borehole based desalination technology, extracting water from a brackish aquifer. This supplies VRC with 113 000 m3 of ‘new water’ per year for irrigation and non-potable use. This meets nearly 30% of the annual fresh water demand from the site. Energy costs are minimised through direct return of the concentrated salts into the bottom of the aquifer.

Intervention features:

Alternative water sources

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
113,000

The Ica region of Peru has experienced a boom in asparagus production since 1990’s and is now responsible for 95% of Peru’s fresh asparagus exports. The region is facing major issues around increasing water scarcity. Groundwater abstraction significantly outstrips recharge rates causing the water table to fall by 8-10 metres annually in some parts. Valle y Pampa is a 217 hectare entrepreneurial agricultural venture producing and exporting pomegranate, asparagus and blueberry crops to international markets across twenty countries.

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The farm has demonstrated a new High Frequency Intermittent Drip Irrigation System (HFDI) technology, which combines an automatic fertigation system with drip irrigation methodology that doses in short 4-9 minute shifts. The automated system monitors chemical and physical conditions in the upper levels of the root zone in real time and fertigates accordingly.  When benchmarked against industry standards based on the utilisation of conventional drip irrigation, the system provides an increase in yield of 65% and 126% for asparagus and pomegranate respectively per m3 of water applied.

Intervention features:

Irrigation scheduling, Soil moisture content monitoring, Remote monitoring and sensing, Fertigation systems, Drip irrigation systems

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1,172,500

The Lagos de Moreno plant, located in the water scarce area of central Mexico`s Jalisco State, is the first of Nestlé’s milk powder factories that has been running entirely on water extracted from milk (so called “Proyecto Cero Agua”; Zero Water Project). Fresh cow milk contains around 88% water, some of which can be captured and reused back in the process without any negative impact on the product.

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The project achieved a reduction in water abstraction from the initial 2 000 m3 per day to 0 m3 per day by treating the condensate to a potable level and re-using it in the manufacturing process. Residual wastewater is treated and utilised for cooling and cleaning. The project was driven by the need to protect the future license to operate and by anticipating the future increases in water costs. The project was justified on the long-term rather than short term business case and contributes to meeting Nestlé`s commitment for reducing its overall direct water withdrawals by 40% by 2015.

Intervention features:

Condensate recovery and reuse, Industrial water metering, Wastewater recycling in the food industry

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
730,000

Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas Brewery (SCC) (part of the Heineken Group), located 13km from Lisbon, uses 950 000 m3 of water for its brewing process per year producing 290 000 m3 of beer. Lisbon is one of several regions within Iberia that is suffering from serious water scarcity.

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Since 2008 the plant has been under pressure to reduce its water use. Firstly to reduce the overall cost of water that was as high as $3.05 per m3, and secondly to help SCC lower its water use of water per beer ratio under 3.5 hectolitre per hectolitre (Hl/Hl) and meet the goals of the Heineken`s Brewing a Better World plan. The SCC originally installed Reverse Osmosis (RO) tertiary treatment in 2008 that was operational until 2012. However, the system was experiencing frequent shutdowns and was not performing satisfactorily. An external partner, GE Water and Power, was then brought in to optimise the process. Between 2012 and 2014, the project succeeded in increasing the production performance of the system by 58% reducing the amount of shutdowns by fivefold. The RO treatment is now producing 82 000m3 per year and reduces the water withdrawal from local municipality that allows for this water to be used by higher priority customers elsewhere.

Intervention features:

Wastewater reuse in the food industry, Wastewater reuse as cooling water, Education, technical training and capacity building, Optimisation programme

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
82,000

The Water Utilities Department of City of Roseville engaged WaterSmart to implement the Water Insights online platform to enhance the engagement with its residential customers. The aim was to provide them with personalised information about their water use, to educate them on the value of water and to improve water use efficiency through a social norms based program.

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The Water Insights initiative was delivered as part of a wider water efficiency program, which included home water audits, water efficient retrofits, and rebates for low flush toilets and water efficient landscapes. The programs were initiated in order to achieve the 20% reduction in water use by 2020, as mandated by the California Water Conservation Act 2009.

With the aid of various  tools, the City’s Water Conservation Team has successfully informed, engaged, and educated the 18 000 participating households about their water use. This resulted in an additional 5.9% per year reduction in water use in comparison to the non-participating households.

Intervention features:

Domestic demand reduction, Tariffs and incentives, Stakeholder engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
880,000

The project, led by Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL) and the IFC, targeted smallholder onion producers from the region assisting them to switch from traditional flood irrigation to micro-irrigation systems. This project resulted in reduced water withdrawals, improved productivity and increased income for the smallholder farmers.

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The project is part of The Gold Standard’s Water Benefit Standard certification system, which certifies water performance of projects. These can be bought by Corporations, NGOs and governmental organisations and serve as means of ongoing funding for the project.

Intervention features:

Drip irrigation systems, Water benefit certification system, Drip irrigation systems, Water benefit certification system, Education, Technical and capacity building

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
181,000 m3/yr

In 2014 Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, experienced the worst drought on record. The city was serviced by six separate dam systems. During the 2014 drought, available flows were half those experienced in the 1953 drought, previously the worst on record. In response, the city’s water company, Sabesp, undertook major works on the supply systems including interconnecting the 6 major dam systems and reducing pressure throughout the distribution network.

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The company also launched an incentive discount scheme to reduce domestic water use. Overall, these actions reduced use in the Metropolitan area by 38%, amounting to 545 573 000 m3. The majority of investment required was provided by Sabesp with some loan financing provided by Federal Government and the World Bank.

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair, Tariffs and incentives, Pressure management in municipalities, Water metering in municipalities

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
600,000,000 m3/yr

The Zhaoqing Jiarong Knitwear Dyeing and Finishing Company is located in the Guangdong Province, within the city of Zhaoqing. Its annual dyeing and finishing capacity is 15 000 tons of knitted fabric. The IFC China Water Program was set up to facilitate financial investment in water efficiency projects within the four major textile producing provinces of China, one of which is Guangdong.

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As part of China’s 5 year plan launched in 2011, all of China’s textile manufacturers must cut energy and water use by 16% and 30% respectively by 2015 or face a penalty fine or closure. Jiarong factory upgraded their conventional jet dyeing process to air-flow dyeing machines that reduce the water requirement of the dyeing process. The intervention achieved a 53% reduction in withdrawal per tonne of material produced. Interventions were self-financed by the Jiarong factory with support from IFC for the water and energy efficiency auditing process.

Intervention features:

Water audits, Education, technical training and capacity building, Enforcement of quotas, Textile processing technologies

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
362,000

Towards the end of 2010, the Western Cape region experienced its worst drought in more than 130 years. In the Mossel Bay area, the level of the Wolvedans Dam dropped significantly threatening the operation of the Nestlé factory, which processes condensed and powdered milk.

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The project involved the implementation of a water use reduction strategy, which included actions such as an active monitoring of water use, engineering interventions to enable condensate reuse, retrofitting low flow plumbing fixtures, and active employee participation.

At a cost of US$145,000, fully financed by Nestle, the strategy was successful in reducing the plant’s water consumption by approximately 50% from 284,000m3/year to 163,000m3/year. Per ton of product, water withdrawal also became much more efficient, dropping from 14.8m3 to 7.5m3. Geographically, the reduced withdrawal resulted in greater water availability for the Mossel Bay area.

Intervention features:

Condensate recovery and reuse, Education, technical training and capacity building, Employee Participation, Industrial water metering, Low flow showerheads, Pressure management in factories, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
120,000 m3/yr

Tiruppur is a mid-sized industrial town located in the upper hydrological basin of the Cauvery River. The basin suffers from water scarcity due to erratic seasonal rainfall, limited reservoir capacity and a high demand on the already limited resource. The city is also the hub of India’s textile industry accounting for 80% of national knitwear production and generating over $1 billion of exports per year. The river and groundwater system the industry uses suffers from severe water quality issues as a result of effluent discharges. This in turn has affected the agricultural potential of downstream lands.

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To address the matter, the Indian High Court mandated zero liquid discharge from the textile industry. As a result of the decision, nine existing effluent treatment plants were upgraded with a combined reverse osmosis and thermal evaporation system, enabling 96% of the effluent to be treated and returned as freshwater. 

At a cost of US$84,000,000, financed by government grants, soft loans and industry, the project accomplished a reduction in demand on the municipal water supply by 876,000m3/year. Dye salts are now recaptured from the effluent stream for industry use resulting in higher quality water for areas downstream. Though expensive, the investment is expected to have a payback period of 15 years.

Intervention features:

Condensate recovery and reuse, Improvement in water quality, Wastewater reuse in textile industry

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
876,000 m3/yr

The Essar steel and power plants are located in Gujarat, India. The power plant is a multi-fuel combined-cycle plant using 3,900,000m3 of water per year and generating 515MW of power. The Essar steel facility, the fourth largest in the world, is located adjacent to the power plant and can produce ten million tons of steel per year. Both plants abstract water from the river Tapti and wastewater effluent is discharged into the sea.

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In order to reduce the combined water footprint of the sites, the power plant cooling system has been improved to reduce freshwater demand. Blowdown water that was previously discharged to the ocean is now transferred to the steel plant. In addition, wastewater from the steel facility is being treated for reuse in the power plant and for localized irrigation of landscaping.

At a project cost of US$380,000, funded by Essar Gujarat, results point to an 86 percent reduction of power plant wasterwater that would have otherwise been discharged into the ocean. The steel plant, in turn, now uses 45 percent of recycled wastewater. The total volumetric impact of the project stands at 1,479,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Condenser process retrofit, Reuse of cooling blowdown water, Wastewater reuse in power generation , Wastewater reuse in steel production

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1,479,000 m3/yr

Durban, located on the eastern coast of South Africa, is one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and its second-largest industrial center. It is an area with high water stress and is expected to become dependent on desalination in future years. The demand for water by the industrial sector presents an additional challenge to the city authorities in meeting the water supply needs of the city and effective management of water resources.

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Unilever, a global consumer goods firm, opened their $72m factory in Durban in 2012. It’s their second largest dry food goods factory. To reduce the use of municipal water supply, the factory makes use of alternate sources of water, such as rainwater harvesting from a 22,000m3 roof and condensate recovery. In addition, it recycles most of the process water and greywater produced in the factory.

At a capital cost of US$2,900,000, the factory has become one of the most water efficient dry food producing factories. Under normal circumstances, the need to use water from the municipal supply has been virtually eliminated, making available up to 12,000m3 of water for the local community each year.

Intervention features:

Condensate recovery and reuse, Greywater recycling, Rainwater harvesting , Wastewater recycling in the food industry

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
12,000 m3/yr

The Middle East Paper Company (MEPCO) is a paper producing company based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – a city with extremely limited access to natural water resources. The paper producing plant is classed as a water intensive operation and is governed by an operating license granted by the local environment authority. In 2006 the company increased its production capacity from 100,000 tons/year to 250,000 tons/year, and in 2010 this further expanded it to 400,000 tons/year, thereby substantially increasing the demand for raw water.

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In order to minimize business costs and water demand MEPCO developed an on site water recycling process. This involved the installation of screens, drum filters, dissolved air flotation units and gravity filters. The company also installed an effluent treatment plant.

At a capital cost of US$5,700,000, funded entirely by MEPCO, plant water demand reduced from 20,000 liters to 5,000 liters per ton of product, adding to the total reduction of 6,000,000m3/year. The return on investment for all technologies installed only took approximately two years. The plant also recycles 2,500kg of paper each day.

Intervention features:

Wastewater recycling in paper production

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
6,000,000 m3/yr

The City of Orlando and Orange County, in order comply with a court decision and cease discharge of treated municipal waste into watercourses draining into a lake and its adjacent reserves, co-developed the Conserv II project to upgrade the wastewater treatment systems.

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Designed in collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the project also included the construction of a new reclaimed water distribution network and the construction of Rapid Infiltration Basins for groundwater recharge. At a project cost of $US344 million, financed primarily through municipal bonds complemented by a grant from the US EPA, it succeeded in eliminating discharges to the lake thereby improving its water quality. It also reclaimed a total volume of 58 million m3 of water per year. 

Intervention features:

Groundwater recharge, Non-potable water distribution system, Reduced water rates for reclaimed water, Wastewater reuse for agriculture

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
58,000,000 m3/yr

Xstrata Lomas Bayas copper mine is located 120km northeast of the port of Antofagasta, Chile. The mine, producing approximately 75,000 tons of copper each year is located in a desert with an annual rainfall of approximately 1mm. Xstrata’s copper operations use a process called heap leaching where a mildly acidic solution is sprayed over crushed copper ore to leach out the mineral; the process uses a significant proportion of the mine’s total water demand.

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The site’s water withdrawal is restricted to 5,794,000m3. In order to continue expanding its operations without relying on additional water resources, Lomas Bayas investigated opportunities to improve its water efficiency, including replacing the original leach pad sprinkler system with a drip system that significantly reduced the water lost to evaporation.

At a project cost of $US1.1 million, the results have been notable. Between 2008 and 2013, the evaporative loss in the leaching process was reduced by 54 percent from 9.8 to 4.5 liters of water per square meter per day. Compared to the previous sprinkler system, the drip feed system optimized the use of water of the Lomas Bayas site by 19 percent.

Intervention features:

Drip feed application to leach pads

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
0 m3/yr

Hong Kong has limited freshwater resources within its administrative boundaries. Its 7 million residents currently consume 951,000,000m3 of freshwater every year, 80% of which is purchased and conveyed from Guangdong Province in China. Before the 1960s water purchasing agreement, shortages and rationing were very common with many instances when water was supplied for only a few hours every three or four days, posing a significant public health risk.

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The project to use seawater for flushing toilets was initiated 50 years ago, and has helped to ensure that the city is able to meet its water demands. Since its launch, the system has expanded and now comprises 45 service reservoirs, 40 pumping stations and over 1,400km of pipes with corrosion protection. The seawater is available using a dual reticulated water supply; it’s also given free of charge to all consumers.

The fixed asset cost of the seawater infrastructure, estimated at $737m by the Water Serviced Department of Hong Kong, has been a success. Currently, 22 percent of the total municipal water demand is met by seawater. Due to seawater’s reduced need for treatment and conveyance, the city benefited from lower energy use. Overall the project has resulted in a volumetric impact of 271,000,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Dual piped water supply system, Seawater for toilet flushing

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
271,000,000 m3/yr

The Saving Water Partnership (SWP) is a group of utilities within Seattle & King County formed with the objective of reducing water demands while the economy and population of the region continue to increase. In many ways it was a preemptive strike at reducing the water supply arising from climate change and the predicted high future cost of water.

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?In the year 2000 the SWP, covering a service area of 1.3 million people, implemented a program promoting a per capita reduction in water use by 1% per year for ten years. Implementation of the program consisted of various measures including but not limited to: low flush and low flow home utilities, and rebates to customers who purchase low water use technologies. At a cost of US$33,000,000, financed through tariffs, the program achieved water savings of 3,700m3 / day, the installation of nearly 350,000 water use fittings, and more. The program was a success – consumption in the region is at the lowest it has been in fifty year.

Intervention features:

Education, technical training and capacity building, Low flow showerheads, Low flow taps , Low flow toilets , Sprinkler irrigation systems, Stakeholder Engagement , Subsidies for the purchase of domestic water saving appliances, Water saving washing machines, Water tariff management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
13,250,000 m3/yr

Singapore has a population of over five million people demanding 1,700,000m3 of water each day. This demand is forecast to double within 50 years, with 70% of that increased demand coming from the non-domestic sector. Although rainfall does average 254mm/yr, Singapore has limited natural water resources due to its small land area and, as a result, has historically relied on imported water.

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?In the late 1990s Singapore initiated a program to become increasingly self-sufficient in its water supply. One component of the program, called NEWater, involves the collection of treated wastewater flows that would have otherwise been discharged to the ocean. Between 2002 and 2010 the program further established four NEWater plants with a capacity of 500,000m3/day. Singapore also implemented an extensive water sampling and testing program to publicly demonstrate the safety of reclaimed water by distributing it in bottles.

As a result, NEWater gained acceptance as a legitimate source of water. Growth in its use increased from 27,000m3/day in 2003 to 350,000m3/day in 2012, thereby offsetting the withdrawals required from existing freshwater sources. As of today NEWater meets 30 percent of Singapore’s water demand, and is projected to meet up to 55 percent demand by 2060.

Intervention features:

Stakeholder Engagement , Wastewater recycling for industrial use, Wastewater recycling for potable use

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
127,750,000 m3/yr

Water Loss Management Program

New South Wales Regional Water Utilities, Australia

Between 2000 and 2010 Australia experienced extended periods of drought that increased the strain on water resources. In response to this, the Water Loss Management Programme (WLMP) was jointly initiated between the Local Government Association of New South Wales (NSW) and the Shires Association of NSW, the Water Directorate and the Australian Government through the Water Smart Australia program.

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The aim of the WLMP was to support smaller Local Water Utilities (LWUs) in their efforts to reduce leakage from their drinking water distribution systems. The batching of projects under WLMP also allowed eligibility with federal government funding criteria. Specialist knowledge and equipment were provided to LWUs in order to help identify, develop and implement leakage reduction projects; these included the installation of flow meters and pressure reducing valves, as well as the establishment of distribution zones.

At a project cost of US$9,200,000 (2013 prices), funded through Government, LWUs and in-kind contribution from other partners, eighty investigation projects were undertaking with 75 Local Water Utilities. The program achieved on-going water savings of 5,518m3/year, as well as 1 million kWh in energy savings and 1.2 million Kg CO2e in emissions.

Intervention features:

Education, technical training and capacity building, Flow monitoring in municipalities, Municipal leakage detection and repair, Pressure management in municipalities, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
5,518,000 m3/yr

Susceptible to drought and climate variability. City West Water (CWW), located in Melbourne, is one of the city’s three retail water businesses, providing a variety of services to business customers. Over 100 of CWW’s large business customers use steam within their processes, a notable water resource.

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To improve on water resource efficiency, CWW in 2010 launched a program focused on assisting business customers better understand how they can make steam systems more efficient. Steam systems were targeted because energy efficiency improvements are typically effective with a high likelihood of implementation. The program involves conducting site audits and the provision of training courses, as well as investigating and implementing technical improvements. CWW also offers grants for cost effective water efficiency actions to leverage business sector investment.

At a project cost of US$278,000, the program has to date achieved water savings of 11,000m3/year and greenhouse gas reduction of 893 tons CO2 equivalent. Other actions being implemented or planned will achieve reductions in withdrawal of 100,000m3/year of water, 53,400GJ/year of gas, 68,000kWh/year of electricity and 2,823 tonnes CO2e/yr greenhouse gas reductions.

Intervention features:

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
11,000 m3/yr

Reducing water losses is a priority for Johannesburg Water. It is the biggest user of water from the Vaal River which depends on transfers from the Senqu River in Lesotho. With a massive customer base of nearly four million, an 11,300km water distribution network, 86 reservoirs, 33 water towers, 108 bulk water supply meters and an average daily demand of 1,366 000m3, losses do add up.

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There is real pressure on the city to reduce and stabilize demand. To resolve the matter a number of measures were taken, these include: the replacement of water mains across the city, pressure management aimed at reducing night time pressures, active and passive leakage controls, continuous monitoring of reservoirs and towers, and other infrastructure upgrades.

At a capital cost of US$98,000,000, funded from a combination of operating and capital expenditure, the project achieved numerous outcomes. In its first 12 months, for example, the replacement program led to a 77 percent reduction in pipe bursts and improvements to the level of leakage repairs resulted in about 10,000,000m3/year in water savings. Many more are detailed in the full case study download.

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair, Pressure management in municipalities, Water metering in municipalities

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
51,250,000 m3/yr

The Public Utilities Board, Singapore's national water agency, recognized that projected population growth would lead to an increased future water demand. As a result, it developed the ‘Four National Taps’ Strategy meant to diversify the sources of water available. But, securing an adequate supply is only half of the challenge for Singapore; managing demand is of equal importance.

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Key to managing demand has been facilitating behavioral change in water use and consumption. The campaign to manage demand in Singapore is known as the “3P approach” and encourages everyone (People, Public, Private) to take ownership of water resource management. Also central to this approach is the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, which enhances Singapore’s water infrastructure bringing people closer to water, so they can better appreciate, cherish and ultimately value that water.

As a result of the campaign and ABC Waters Program, reduction per capita use reduced from 165 liters/day in 2003 to 152 liters/day in 2013, with an aim to drop to 147 liters/day by 2020.  Overall, Singapore’s water demand management strategy has achieved a total volumetric impact of 1,818,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Revision of building regulations, Stakeholder Engagement , Water metering in municipalities, Water tariff management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1,818,000 m3/yr

The Drakenstein Municipality, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa has a total population of 224,240. In 1999, faced with an annual growth in water demand of 3.5% and non-revenue water standing at 33%, it decided to take action to mitigate a potential impeding water crisis.

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The action taken took the form of a comprehensive water demand management program with six goals in mind: reduce the high percentage of non-revenue water, reduce high static water pressures, reduce average daily demand, increase total revenue, provide constant and efficient service to consumers, and conserve water that was becoming increasingly scarce.

At a project cost of US$2,000,000, Drakenstein Municipality lowered non-revenue water from over 33 percent to just under 11 percent in a twelve year period. Water demand was furthermore reduced from 17,800,000m3/year in 2000 to 11,900,000m3/year in 2011, representing major savings on water purchases from the bulk water supplier. These results and more have allowed Drakenstein to currently rank as among the best municipalities in South Africa with regards to water use efficiency.

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair, Pressure management in municipalities, Stakeholder Engagement , Water metering in municipalities, Water tariff management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
5,900,000 m3/yr

Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) is located in the catchment and experiences annual mean water losses of 44% (36 000 000m3), and in some areas in excess of 80%. Like many other South African municipalities, it doesn’t have the necessary capacity, instruments or resources to reduce its water demand in the integrated Orange-Senqu River System, already under extreme water stress.

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The intervention to improve conditions involves a public-private partnership between several key players (industry, local government and funding agencies), and their attempt to reduce water risks, stress and costs, while increasing water supply to the municipality. This requires a high of buy-in from stakeholders, education and capacity building, repairs and reinvestment of audited ring-fenced savings to ensure continued intervention over the next two to three years.
At a project cost of US$2,500,000 the municipality achieved 10,000,000m3/year in the first phase, forecasted to increase to 12,000,000m3 by 2014. It also made financial savings of almost US$10,000,000 that are expected to be reinvested for further savings. Finally, the sustainability of the project is ensured by the human capital invested in through capacity building within both the municipality and local communities.

Intervention features:

Education, technical training and capacity building, Flow monitoring in municipalities, Municipal leakage detection and repair, Pressure management in municipalities, Replacement of tap and toilet washers, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
10,000,000 m3/yr

The Las Vegas Valley is extremely arid and is classed as having a subtropical desert climate, with extremely high summer temperatures and high evapotranspiration. Since 2000 the valley has been suffering from a severe and ongoing drought. Most of the water used in the Valley is withdrawn from the Colorado River via Lake Mead, then returned as treated effluent back to the Colorado River.

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The security of supply is dependent upon reducing per capita demand, in particular those arising from landscape irrigation and evaporative cooling which make up 60% of the total demand. Subsequently, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) instituted a number of aggressive water conservation programs from 2000 onwards that included monetary incentives, education and regulatory policies. Specifically, policy measures included new building codes, tiered water rates and restrictions on landscape irrigation.

At a program cost of US$218,000,000, paid through in rebates for employing water saving measures, Nevada managed to reduce landscape water use by 34,500,000m3/year, cover 29,800 pools (reducing water use by 1,500,000m/year), construct 1,254 water efficient homes (reducing water use by 1,236,000m3/year), and other key outcomes. Cumulatively, these measures have helped to reduce per capita daily use by 30% by 2011 and reduced water demand by 51 926 000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Revision of building regulations, Stakeholder Engagement , Subsidies for the purchase of water saving appliances in commercial premises, Water tariff management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
51,926,000 m3/yr

Maintenance of water supply networks in many low-income urban areas in South Africa such as in Sebokeng and Evaton have been neglected over 30 years, resulting in serious service delivery problems and water wastage. The combination of low income and high unemployment levels produced a general deterioration of internal plumbing fittings causing high levels of leakage. Before the project, it was estimated that approximately 80% of the water supplied to the area was wasted, representing a water bill of around US$20m annually. Due to the fact that very few consumers pay their bills, this cost had to be absorbed by the utility and municipality.

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To tackle the problem, a pressure management system was installed to control the pressure of the incoming bulk water, allowing for a reduction of supplied water to Sebokeng and Evaton during off-peak periods with a consequent reduction in leakage. The project was constructed using labor-based methods and a high level of stakeholder consultation to ensure positive support from the affected communities.
At a capital cost of US$1,350,000, funded by the private sector on the basis of a payment mechanism linked to saved bulk water costs over a 5-year period, the project achieved a 10,000,000m3/year reduction in withdrawals from bulk water sources. It also resulted in an improved status of the municipality enabling to access additional funding for water demand management activities, as well as a catalyst for other water demand interventions.

Intervention features:

Pressure management in municipalities, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
10,000,000 m3/yr

Part of a larger comprehensive program decades in the making to ensure water security for the city, direct potable water reuse in Windhoek actually started back in 1968. The scheme, in an effort to update and become more efficient, received an upgrade in 2002 in the form of a new plant designed to provide a replenishing source of drinking water from wastewater. It furthermore forms part of a total re-use system in which very little water is either wasted or returned to the river system. At a cost of US$27,000,000, financed in large part by the KFW and the European Investment Bank achieved several key outcomes, the most notable being that the project makes an additional 7,500,000m3 /year of potable water available at a similar cost to other sources.

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Part of a larger comprehensive program decades in the making to ensure water security for the city, direct potable water reuse in Windhoek actually started back in 1968. The scheme, in an effort to update and become more efficient, received an upgrade in 2002 in the form of a new plant designed to provide a replenishing source of drinking water from wastewater. It furthermore forms part of a total re-use system in which very little water is either wasted or returned to the river system. At a cost of US$27,000,000, financed in large part by the KFW and the European Investment Bank achieved several key outcomes, the most notable being that the project makes an additional 7,500,000m3 /year of potable water available at a similar cost to other sources.

Intervention features:

Stakeholder Engagement , Wastewater recycling for potable use

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
6,700,000 m3/yr

Punjab, a state located in the northwest of India, produces 20% of the nation’s wheat, 11% of its rice and 11% of its cotton from only 1.5% of its geographical area. Since 1970, Punjab has seen growth in its agricultural production; however, this growth has been dependent on increasing exploitation of groundwater for irrigation. The over exploitation of groundwater has resulted in a perceived threat to national food security.

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An investigation was undertaken to find a solution that farmers could implement into their farming methods in order to reduce water consumption and then, in the future, seek a scaling up of that strategy. Tensiometers were trialed and made attractive to farmers through a structured field test, the results of which could then be used to predict water savings on a much larger scale.
With a program cost of US$660,835, funded by PepsiCo Foundation, water usage by participating farmers was reduced from 3,448,000m3 to 2,800,000 m3 over the span of 3 years. The program also resulted in a 19% reduction in withdrawals, leading to a 24% mean reduction in energy use per acre.

Intervention features:

Bubbler Irrigation Systems, Capture of floodwaters, Condensate recovery and reuse, Condenser process retrofit, Direct dry cooling for power generation, Domestic leakage detection and repair, Drip feed application to leach pads, Irrigation scheduling, Soil moisture content monitoring

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
216,000 m3/yr

The Hai Basin is home to over 120 million people and is spread over four provinces and the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin that, alone, account for some 15% of China’s GDP. Expectedly, water has played a pivotal role in the development of the Basin, which now faces serious water-related problems, including pollution, scarcity, diminishing supplies and flooding. Water availability per capita in the Hai Basin is only 14% of China’s national average and about 4% of the global average.

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Because overexploitation of groundwater across the basin is estimated to be 9 billion cubic meters annually, a program was developed to address the supply demand balance within the river basin, recognizing the impacts downstream. A 7-year program was developed (ending in 2011) that involved the implementation of an integrated water and environmental management strategy in 16 separate counties. The approach included the use of water quotas, a basin wide data management, the engagement of local communities, metering and legislation.

At a program cost of US$14,800,000, the pilot proved successful in implementing reduced water quotas against improved water management practices, whilst supporting growth in farm incomes. At one village location (village) water quotas actually reduced usage by approximately 40% (from 570,000m3 / year to 350,000m3 / year), while continuing to meet farmers’ requirements for irrigation water.

Intervention features:

Enforcement of quotas, Institutional reform, Irrigation metering, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Replacement of irrigation channels with pipes, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
265,000,000 m3/yr

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine is located in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The mine consists of an open pit and underground development project, processing plant, two accommodation villages, an airport and ancillary facilities. In 2006, during a proposal to expand the facility, the Argyle Mine identified significant water losses in their storage facility.

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The 2006 expansion provided the opportunity to change how water was managed on site and initiated a series of site interventions to reduce the amount of freshwater abstracted from Lake Argyle, replacing it instead with lower quality water mainly abstracted from mine dewatering activities. The project involved the construction of two dams to collect the lower grade water, recycling in the washing process through the use of a retention pond, and consultation with traditional owners on the issues at hand.

At a capital cost of US$4,500,000, financed by Rio Tinto, the project achieved a 96 percent reduction in water abstraction from Lake Argyle between 2005 and 2011. It further reduced the cost of pumping water, and managed to recycle 40 percent of Argyle Mine’s water. The total volumetric impact of this project stands at 3,492,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Rainwater harvesting , Wastewater reuse in mines

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
3,492,000 m3/yr

The Keidebees and Vele Langa Primary Schools in Upington were showing unacceptable levels of leakage. The need to respond was identified during an inspection of plumbing fittings for visual leakage in public buildings in and around the town, and further underlined by an examination of consumption levels and water bills being paid by schools. The focus on primary schools was selected to serve as a cost-effective model for other schools and public buildings.

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The significance of the project is in its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, if only because it can be easily replicated at thousands of other schools and public buildings leading to huge water savings. More significantly, much of the “wasted” water that was targeted by this type of project would otherwise be lost to evaporation and evapotranspiration rather than making its way back to the resource base via return flows or groundwater recharge. The project – by conducting a situational analysis of water meters, identifying and repairing leaking fittings, and analyzing outcomes from a cost-benefit analysis – showed how carefully planned and properly implemented interventions can lead to tangible and significant results in a short period of time.

The capital cost for the projected amounted to just under US$5.000, financed by the Department of Water Affairs, showed immediate water savings in the order of 50m3/day between both schools. Average water bills at Keidebees and Vele Langa were halved paying for the original investment within six months. Students, in turn, were exposed to the importance of water conservation through an education and awareness building session that could potentially have positive long-term effects. 

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
19,000 m3/yr

The City of Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s largest city and with a population of 3.5 million and an annual rainfall of just 84mm. It is highly water stressed and depends upon desalination for the majority of its water supply. Current demand is 1,200,000m3/day and is forecast to increase to 20,000,000m3/day by 2029.

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In 2008 a joint venture of Acwa Power and Suez Environment were awarded a seven-year water services management contract, under which a number of measures have been implemented to reduce unaccounted for water. The project was divided into two pilot stages, the first targeting the implementation of Pressure Regulating Valves in 16 district zones, and the second targeting the installation of advanced automatic network pressure management and control systems for two of the districts serviced in stage one.

The first pilot stage resulted in water savings of 12 percent equivalent to saving 4,300m3/day, a reduction of leaks by 50 percent, and expanded continuous service to 20 percent of customers. The second pilot stage achieved an additional 10 percent or the equivalent of 3,200m3/day of water loss savings and an extra average pressure decrease of 20 percent. Because the majority of the water supply comes from desalination, it’s assumed that leakage is a consumptive demand lost to saline sources; a reduction in leakage therefore results in a reduction in consumptive demand.

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair, Pressure management in municipalities

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
2,737,000 m3/yr

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is the industrial heartland of South Africa, supplying approximately 314,000,000m3/yr to 800,000 households. Unfortunately, metering / monitoring the Municipality’s top consumers had not been a high priority for many years, resulting in many of the existing consumer’s supply meters to either break or become unreliable. Without a realistic sense of consumption, especially to industry, non-revenue water was estimated to be around 50% of the water actually being used.

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?In 2010 EMM launched, as a result of the significant gap, a campaign to consolidate multiple connections into single metered supplies. While the replacement of meters was the main feature of the project, other important components included identifying illegal connections and repairing leaks.

The project ended up being the overall winner of the South African Government’s 2012 Water Conservation Awards and is now being extended to include almost 25,000 additional bulk consumer meters. Extensive work was done with consumers to explain the whole process; as a result, despite the fact that around 75% of them would be faced with increased water bills, there was no resistance to the project. Overall, the project achieved a volumetric impact of 5,800,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Industrial water metering, Removal of unmetered water supplies, Stakeholder Engagement , Water Audits

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
5,800,000 m3/yr

Shelanu Farm is situated on the southern bank of the Orange River from which it abstracts its water supply. All of its 28.7ha are used to grow table grapes that are exported (mainly) to the United Kingdom in November, earlier than other producers, allowing it to command a good selling price. Because UK supermarkets require an audited water footprint for each kg of grapes exported, there is real pressure to minimize the volume of water abstracted.

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In order to minimize water use Shelanu Farm, a small but highly intensive farm  using modern technology, optimized its water irrigation scheduling based on data automatically received from soil moisture (capacitance) probes and analysis using a sophisticated computerized monitoring and management system. Soils around the farm vary considerably and the automated system allows variable irrigation cycle time depending on soil type and soil moisture status.

At a capital cost of US$215,000, the combination of scheduling and other measures permitted a reduction in irrigation water per hectare of 20% from 15,000m3 / year to 12,000m3 / year. The project also resulted in a 35% reduction in the water footprint per kilogram of grape and a 20% increase in crop yields. 

Intervention features:

Fertigation systems, Irrigation metering, Irrigation scheduling, Micro jet irrigation, Mulching, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Shade netting

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
86,000 m3/yr

The Lerma Chapala Basin in Mexico is responsible for over 50% of Mexico’s exports and is home to over 10 million people. Yet, the basin is under extreme pressure from water scarcity with an aggregated annual deficit of up to 1.8 billion m3/year. The main water resource in the basin, groundwater, is already heavily overexploited and with increased activity could pose a significant risk.

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?In 2010 Procter and Gamble (P&G) established the Planta Milenio manufacturing facility in the basin. In order to minimize business risk and environmental impact the plant was designed to minimize the volume of water that would be abstracted from the basin for business operations. The total groundwater abstraction of the site had the potential to be in order of 480,000m3/year, however through the use of key measures such as extensive on site recycling, low water use fittings and rain water harvesting the total abstraction was reduced to 254 000m3/year. While the volume of water used by the plant remains largely unchanged, the volume of abstracted groundwater has been reduced by nearly 50%.

At a project cost of US$1,900,000, financed entirely by P&G, the 3000 person facility was fitted with flow plumbing fittings to reduce domestic water use, a reverse osmosis process to recycle waste streams from the water treatment plant, and rainwater harvesting measures, among others.

Intervention features:

ndustrial water metering, Low flow showerheads, Low flow taps , Low flow toilets , Wastewater re-use as cooling water

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
226,000 m3/yr

Soetmelkvlei Farm is a 183ha owner-managed irrigation operation on the Orange-Riet Irrigation Scheme. Precise irrigation scheduling, defined loosely as the process used by irrigation system managers to determine the correct frequency and duration of watering, is possible here because the Orange-Riet Water User Association operating the Scheme manages a distribution system that allows farmers to place water orders daily. While the thinking of many farmers on the Scheme is focused on minimizing costs, at Soetmelkvlei the philosophy is to maximize yield.

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Since there are no realistic opportunities for the introduction of lucrative cash crops, efforts have been directed towards getting the best results out of the crops traditionally grown such as maize, wheat, dry bean and lucerne through a combination of approaches. These include both the implementation of the latest equipment, effective irrigation systems, and the use of various management and decision support systems. The reduced use of water has allowed the farm to increase the area under productive irrigation with no increase in allocation.

At a capital cost of US$400,000, the project successfully increased crop yield per unit of water withdrawn compared to other farms in the country and internationally. A reduced fertilizer bill resulting from a targeted application of fertilizer to crops and additional outcomes resulted in a total volumetric impact of 627,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Fertigation systems, Fixed overhead sprinkler system, Irrigation metering, Irrigation scheduling, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
627,000 m3/yr

The Golburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID) covers 68,000km2 and is Australia’s most extensive irrigation network with water. Parts of the irrigation system were antiquated with inefficiencies in the water supply system resulting in high water use. The North Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project (NVIRP) covers 85% of GMID area, and was established to reduce leakage in the irrigation water supply system and improve the efficiency of on-farm irrigation systems.

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The Project involved real-time monitoring and control of flows, lining the main channel, installing sprinkler and drip irrigation system and a central data repository of irrigation system flows and abstractions. The water entitlement aspect of the project was developed to help transition from inefficient practices and low value crops to efficient practices and higher valued crops, improving the overall economic productivity of the GMID.

At a project cost of US$1.29 billion, funded in large part by the Government of Victoria, the project succeeded in improving the channel’s water supply efficiency from 79 percent to 92 percent, based on volumes of water delivered. In terms of water withdrawal in agriculture, it managed a notable reduction of 204,387,000m3 due to reduced evaporative losses and reduced return flow. 

Intervention features:

Drip irrigation systems, Irrigation metering, Lining of irrigation channels, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Replacement of irrigation channels with pipes, Sprinkler irrigation systems, Water entitlement trading

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
204,387,000 m3/yr

Most of the Orange-Senqu Basin – shared by Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia – is arid to semi-arid. It is one of the largest basins in southern Africa and also one of the most developed. Irrigation in the region is a major consumer of water using approximately 2.5 billion m3 / year, corresponding to 20% of the virgin mean annual runoff and 54% of total consumptive demand excluding environmental requirements. The sector is often accused of being both wasteful and relatively unproductive.

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The main crops that grow in the area – lucerne, potato, groundnut, maize, oats and barley – are difficult to grow profitably, hence the negative perception. Changes needed to be made, to ensure the financial survival of the farmers in the Upper Orange River Catchment through increased productivity as well as reduce the amount of water withdrawn. The approach taken includes a legal and institutional reform driving the establishment of a self-sufficient Water User Association, advanced metering and the establishment of a virtual water bank, targeted stakeholder consultations and modernization of the irrigation infrastructure and management systems.

At a capital cost of US$250,000, the project successfully improved productivity in terms of crop per drop with average yield across the scheme increasing by approximately 25%, long-term financial sustainability of the irrigation scheme, and a total annual irrigation demand reduction of 7 percent, from 187,600,000m3 to 174,400,00m3. The project further empowered those involved with the Water Use Associations in the area, through capacity building and an increased understanding of water issues within local decision making.

Intervention features:

Enforcement of quotas, Fertigation systems, Institutional reform, Irrigation metering, Irrigation scheduling, Sprinkler irrigation systems, Water entitlement trading

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
13,200,000 m3/yr

Land degradation is a serious problem in many parts of the world, impacting particularly on rain-fed subsistence or semi-subsistence farming areas where the availability and quality of land and water resources is critical to survival. In India there is an urgent need to address natural resource degradation in rainfed areas. The Adarsha Watershed Management Project at Kothapally in Andrha Pradesh, implemented by a consortium of interested parties, is an example of how sustainable watershed programs can be successfully carried out.

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Kothapally village comprises 465ha of mainly cultivated undulating farmland with a population of 1,492 supported by semi-subsistence agriculture in the area. The level of resource degradation before project implementation was serious – characterized by low rainwater use efficiency, high soil erosion and a lack of soil stabilization or infiltration enhancement mechanisms. The project placed an emphasis on community-based integrated watershed management, engaging all tiers of the community. Interventions have resulted in improved infiltration, reduced soil loss, increased groundwater levels, improved land cover and vegetation, increased productivity, and positive changes in cropping patterns.

At a program cost of US$90,000 the project, in its three years of implementation, succeeded by increasing groundwater storage (equivalent to nearly 1,000,000m3 of water, or 330,000m3 / year), changing cropping patterns, increasing yields, and reducing soil loss thereby positively impacting downstream quality.

Intervention features:

Education, technical training and capacity building, Furrow irrigation, Groundwater recharge, Institutional reform, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
330,000 m3/yr

The Segura River is about 350km long and flows from west to east discharging into the Mediterranean on Spain’s east coast. It passes through the entire region of Murcia, which hosts a population over two million yet has the lowest annual rainfall in the European regions. For that same reason its basin experiences an acute supply-demand imbalance. To make matters worse the water that is available is of extremely poor quality, thus further straining the resource’s availability.

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This project, implemented over a 10-year period, improves available resource through the capture and treatment of urban and industrial wastewater flows and returning them for direct or indirect re-use in irrigation. A key element to the project’s success was the enaction of policy and legislation that enforces the “Polluter Pays” principle, enabling waste water treatment and recovery to be operated on a cost recovery basis. The project required the construction of 97 advanced wastewater treatment plants, 350km of sewer, and the introduction of a robust system to monitor industrial discharges.

At a project cost of US$917 million, 75-80% of which received co-funding from European Funds, it achieved 100 million m3/year of wastewater return flows that were previously unusable. It was also able to make a connection to 99% of urban areas to sewers and substantially increase the river’s quality for the people of Murcia and beyond.

Intervention features:

Improvement in water quality, Institutional reform, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Wastewater reuse for agriculture

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
100,000,000 m3/yr

India is the world’s largest sugar consumer and the second largest producer. The livelihoods of almost 35 million people are dependent on sugarcane production, grown on over 4.1 million hectares nationwide. Yet, productivity is highly variable from 40 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) to 269t/ha. The discrepancy is attributed to the fact that sugar cane farmers in the region have little incentive to save water. As a result whilst the annual irrigation requirement is around 1,600mm, the average application of water is up to 4,000mm.

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?The project intervention focused on introducing improved water management practices to reduce water use, in parallel with improved crop practices to increase crop yield. The program started small but grew to encompass over 1,000 farmers. Specifically, the project implemented several irrigation-related interventions, including: replacing serpentine irrigation with furrow irrigation, making irrigation scheduling dependent on estimated soil moisture content and crop demand, and applying mulching to conserve soil moisture.

At a program cost of US$744,000, it is estimated that the intervention resulted in reduced water usage of up to 22,080,000m3/year over an area of 8,000ha and an increase in crop yield of up to 20%. Farmers also benefited with a 30% increase in gross profit margins due to a complementary incentive scheme promoting higher quality cane sugar.

Intervention features:

Furrow irrigation, Irrigation scheduling, Mulching

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
22,080,000 m3 /yr

The Lower Vaal River Catchment supplies water to much of South Africa’s industrial and commercial heartland. The 29,181ha irrigation scheme in place is the largest in South Africa, and must reduce pressure on this crucial water source. As one of the first irrigation schemes to be handed over by the Government to the private sector, it faces the challenge of self-sufficiency in a testing environment.

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?The Water Use Association (WUA) in the Lower Vaal area manages the distribution of irrigation water to hundreds of farmers over 1,120km of ageing canals and 1,873 abstraction points. The process needed to make it more efficient required difficult institutional reform combined with critical self-examination of operation and management practices. Coupled with a lack of adequate funding for expensive infrastructure improvements, the challenge was met using a variety of interventions leading to significant water savings.

At a project cost of US$148,000, the WUA implemented a Water Administration System tailored for the management of irrigation scheme water distribution systems to reduce loses. This enabled the water released into the system to drop by 11,580m3/ha, saving a total of 14,150,000m3/year. In addition to the savings, the scheme improved its overall competitiveness and improved crop yields per unit of water abstracted.

Intervention features:

Drip irrigation systems, Fertigation systems, Institutional reform, Irrigation metering, Irrigation scheduling, Micro jet irrigation, Remote monitoring and sensing in agriculture, Sprinkler irrigation systems, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
14,150,000 m3/yr

Many of Namibia’s settlements are situated in very arid areas and depend entirely on groundwater for their water supply. Perhaps the most extreme examples are the coastal settlements of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay which depend on groundwater stored in the coastal aquifers of the Kuiseb, Swakop and Omaruru Rivers. Rapidly growing water demand in the 1990s, exacerbated by a series of very dry years and declining water levels in the Omdel aquifer, the areas required action.

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?In order remedy the situation, attention was focused on the Omdel aquifer near the mouth of the Omaruru River which had the largest storage capacity at 150 000 000m3. Previous research had also identified that natural recharge in the system was reducing as a result of heavily silt-laden floodwaters clogging normal recharge pathways. The scheme involved the construction of a large dam just upstream of the aquifer to catch the occasional floodwaters for subsequent controlled release to the aquifer through enhanced infiltration.

With a capital cost of US$16,800,000, the result of the project was that extractable recharge of the Omdel aquifer more than doubled from 3,500,000m3/year to about 7,130,000m3/year. This, combined with the sustainable yields from the Kuiseb and Swakop Aquifers, raised the total extractable volume to 10,930,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Capture of floodwaters, Groundwater recharge, Management of evaporation losses

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
3,630,000 m3/yr

Yemen is a water scarce country and is reliant on groundwater as its primary source of its water supply, 90% of which is used for agriculture using water intensive irrigation practices. Abstraction from deep aquifers has resulted in rapid decline in its groundwater resources, not only increasing the cost of abstraction but also reducing the country’s ability to meet its current and future needs.

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The Government of Yemen, in collaboration with The World Bank, implemented the ground water conservation project in 10 of the 13 catchments in the country, with focus on sub-catchments where aquifer depletion rate was most critical. An integrated approach using a combination of supply side and demand side interventions was implemented to increase the available supply as well as to reduce the demand on groundwater. Water User Associations were created to help educate the farmers about water efficient irrigation practices, improve communications between government officers and farmers, and to help monitor and regulate abstraction of groundwater.

At a program cost of US$56,000,000 the project not only surpassed its objectives of improving the sustainability of the groundwater resources (83,000,000 m3/year), it also achieved a 6% to 15% increase in crop yield per unit of irrigation water and strengthened key institutions that work and assist the agricultural sector.

Intervention features:

Bubbler Irrigation Systems, Drip irrigation systems, Education, technical training and capacity building, Groundwater recharge, Institutional reform, Rainwater harvesting , Replacement of irrigation channels with pipes, Sprinkler irrigation systems, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
83,000,000 m3/yr

Beaufort West, a town situation on the main road between Johannesburg and Cape Town receives a highly variable average rainfall of only 265mm/year and relies heavily on water stored in a single dam. By the end of the 2008/09 rainy season water reserves were very low and in November 2009 the town’s main water source, the Gamka Dam, ran dry.

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The crisis situation at Gamka Dam can be attributed to several factors, namely, low rainfall, uncontrolled water consumption (up by 44% in six years), insufficient planning and the high cost attached to new water resource development options. More important than the contributing factors however was the reaction; by the time the town emerged from the crisis it had been transformed into a model of water conservation and demand management. This was achieved through several measures including a public awareness campaign, reduced consumption through pressure reduction, an aggressive water tariff structure, and the construction of a wastewater reclamation plant.

At a capital cost of US$3,500,000 the reaction provoked the construction of two new water sources to guarantee stability – a groundwater and wastewater reclamation plant producing potable water. Mentalities in the town changed, and the water resources were overall improved. The overall volumetric impact of the program is 730,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Municipal leakage detection and repair, Stakeholder Engagement , Wastewater recycling for potable use, Water tariff management

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
730,000 m3 /yr

In response to long-term drought, Sydney Water launched the 'Every Drop Counts' initiative. In the past Sydney Water implemented infrastructure upgrades to dams, networks and wastewater treatment facilities. However, it was also realized that the demand for water consumption also needed to be addressed.

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The initial aim of the program was to encourage residents of Sydney to consume less domestic water. Since then, Sydney Water has expanded the initiative to incorporate businesses, helping them to reduce their water consumption and to benefit from reduced costs. They did so by promoting the use of efficient devices, inspect mains infrastructure, reach out to and work with the business sector to identify solutions, educate them on water management, and encourage them to participate.

The program, at a cost of US$240,000,000, Sydney Water since 2001 has helped save 12,410,000m3/year which would otherwise have been lost to the ocean. Water use per capita was reduced from 411 liters/day in 2001 to 297 liters/day in 2012. In terms of infrastructure maintenance, 18,080km of mains were inspected and repaired, saving more than 20,000m3/year in reduced leakage.

Intervention features:

Domestic leakage detection and repair, Low flow showerheads, Low flow taps , Low flow toilets , Smart metering, Stakeholder Engagement , Water Audits

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
12,410,000 m3/yr

Eskom, South Africa’s and the African continents leading electricity supplier, is a government owned utility that provides electricity to almost 95% of all end users in South Africa, and close on 60% of the entire electricity consumption on the African continent. Eskom’s coal fired power stations are steam driven using highly purified water; there is an effort to recover and re-use water due to the high costs of production and water scarcity. Eskom’s Matimba Power Station in Limpopo is an example where direct dry cooling has been implemented to reduce water consumption.

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Matimba Power Station is the largest direct-dry-cooled station in the world, with an installed capacity of greater than 4,000MW. It makes use of closed-circuit cooling technology reducing water consumption to around 0.1 liter per kWh of electricity distributed; this, in comparison to wet cooling system power stations use 1.9 liters per kWh is a significant reduction. Driven by the need to secure water resources in the medium and long term, the Matimba example has achieved a water savings of 62,500,000m3/year.

Intervention features:

Direct dry cooling for power generation

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
62,500,000 m3/yr

Zaragoza, located in Northern Spain, launched its Water Saving City project in early1997, two years after a major drought affected 11 million people state-wide. The aim of the project counted on changing wasteful water behavior and increasing efficient use. The goal – reducing 1,000,000m3 of domestic water in one year – was both set and achieved.

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?The project has shown that it is possible to deal with a shortage of water in an urban domestic setting, using a cost efficient, quick, ecological and contention free approach. Using a partnership approach, with funding coming through multiple sources (mostly through The European LIFE programme), the project focused on public engagement through the media, educating younger generations, and developing material for its citizens to read.

The impact was substantial. In nine years since the project’s launch, the population of Zaragoza increased by over 12%, yet daily water use reduced from 848,000m3 to 615,000m3 in the same period. Per capita use also reduced from 150 liters/day in 1997 to 99 liters/day in 2012.

Intervention features:

Stakeholder Engagement , Subsidies for the purchase of domestic water saving appliances

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
1,176,000 m3/yr

Overall water demand in the Adelaide metropolitan area is around 200,000,000m3/yr. In a dry year up to 90% of that must be met from the highly stressed River Murray which suffers from increased salinity, over extraction, increasing pollution and dying ecosystems. By 2003 Adelaide experienced extensive water restrictions, a first since a major transfer pipeline was built nearly 50 years earlier.

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?As a result a number of strategies have been developed to address the supply demand imbalance and secure sustainable water supplies into the future. Recognizing that up to 90% of demand for potable water supply could be replaced with a non-potable supply, the City of Salisbury implemented the collection, storage and distribution of stormwater run-off that would have otherwise discharged into the Gulf of St Vincent.

At a project cost of US$57,000,000, funded by grants and money borrowed by the City against future sales to customers, managed to treat and reuse 5,000,000m3/year of non-potable water. Twenty percent of all injected water was maintained within the aquifer to store treated water, energy costs reduced due to reduced salinity, and consumptive use from evaporation was minimized.

Intervention features:

Groundwater recharge, Non-potable water distribution system, Stormwater harvesting

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
5,000,000 m3/yr

Khayelitsha is one of the largest townships in South Africa with a population of 450,000. It is located approximately 20km from Cape Town Central Business District. In the early 2000s, an investigation into leakage levels established that the water lost could almost fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every hour. The main source was identified as household leakage, and in particular poor quality plumbing fittings that have been badly damaged through constant exposure to high pressure.

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The leakages resulted in very high water use in most properties and high levels of non-payment, since the customers couldn’t afford to pay for new taps and toilet fittings, let alone their high water bills. The Khayelitsha Pressure Management Project was therefore commissioned in 2001 to improve the level of service to the community by reducing the excessive water pressure and pressure fluctuations in the reticulation system, particularly during the off-peak periods of low demand. This specifically involved measuring night flows to estimate leakage levels, extensive community consultations, locally available labor construction, and advanced pressure management techniques.

At a program cost of US$700,000, funded by the municipality, water savings were immediate, sustainable and exceeded the most optimistic projections, amounting to almost 40% of the original supply. Awareness and education helped create consumer support for water efficiency, and the 9,000,000m3/year savings achieved represent US$5,000,000 per annum of bulk water purchases.

Intervention features:

Pressure management in municipalities, Stakeholder Engagement

Water scarcity
impact
Reduced withdrawal
Reduced consumption
Improved water quality
Increased productivity
Improved net basin impact
volumetric impact
9,000,000 m3/yr