One of the crucial aspects to increase climate resiliency of a water utility is to reduce its water losses. The calculation is simple: with less water being lost in the network, water can be provided to consumers in higher quantity, quality and reliability, especially in times of low availability at the source.
In a consultancy project implemented by CONSULAQUA through the CATS programme since November 2018, the Saint Lucian water utility WASCO is supported in, amongst others, improving network operation and maintenance. With the ultimate goal of reducing Non-Revenue Water, WASCOs experts are accompanied in a change process addressing questions such as: how does asset management and maintenance contribute to the reduction of non-revenue water? How can responsibilities be assigned to ensure reliable operation? What are the quality standards to which a utility should adhere? How are data and information collected, stored and distributed within the organisation?
During the consultancy’s missions, CONSULAQUAs experts develop methodologies together with WASCOs staff to overcome struggles caused by “walking on a beaten track”. All methodologies undergo a trial run in the field to identify weaknesses and room for improvement to eventually develop a solution that’s viable and feasible for WASCO and is hence adopted by the crews.
In the particular exercise shown in the photo, a newly developed assessment form for network assets has been tried out along a main distribution line. Based on WASCOs GIS system, a route has been calculated and transferred into a spreadsheet, allowing field staff to consecutively assess all assets along a particular water line, checking them for functionality, need for maintenance and general aspects of the appurtenances. As a result, issues such as non-accessible, flooded or silted valve chambers, leaks and broken or missing assets are identified and can be dealt with accordingly.
This acquired knowledge about the network’s status helps WASCO to be on the ball in addressing major issues in its network, ultimately reducing water losses and increase resilience in the light of climate change.