Water-Loss Management under Data Scarcity: Case Study in a Small Municipality in a Developing Country

E. R. Oviedo-Ocaña, I. C. Dominguez, J. Celis, L. C. Blanco, I. Cotes, S. Ward*, Z. Kapelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Urban areas are facing challenges for the provision of public services, with water scarcity arising as one of the main problems. A twin track approach of supply and demand management is essential, and water-loss management contributes to reducing water demand. However, small municipalities from developing countries have technical, information, and financial limitations to locate and monitor water losses. This paper presents the estimation of real and apparent losses in a small municipality from a developing country in a data-scarce situation. For this, several tools were used, allowing data integration that resulted in a water balance, from which water losses were estimated at 46%, and four alternatives for water-loss reduction were developed. A cost-benefit analysis and financial indicators were estimated for the proposed alternatives, resulting in a water savings of 19%, a payback period of 3 years and an internal rate of return of 39%. The proposed strategies have potential to improve water quantity and quality, the technical stability of the system, utility performance, and water security.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05020001
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


  • Apparent losses
  • Distribution network
  • Geographic information systems
  • Real losses
  • Water-loss management


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