Even as the state government is working towards providing 24×7 water supply to the residents, around 31-32 per cent of the potable water supplied is lost in South Goa due to pipeline leakages and bursting of the age-old pipes.
According to sources in the public works department (PWD), the department suffers huge losses on account of such wastage of water.
In order to tide over this problem, the government is now working towards replacing the old pipelines across the state at an estimated project cost of Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 800 crore for each district). The estimate was prepared recently by PWD. This project will help in curtailing the non-revenue water in South Goa by nearly 50 per cent.
In Salcete taluka alone, nearly 95 per cent of the existing water pipelines need to be replaced and the project is expected to cost around Rs 200 crore in the taluka, said PWD sources.
An official in the PWD, on condition of anonymity, said that the department has plenty of processed water but there are certain areas, which still suffer from shortage on account of the water being wasted when pipelines burst. The source said that around 32 per cent of water is lost in the South district as non-revenue water.
Non-revenue water (NRW) is water that has been produced and is ‘lost’ before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses (through leaks, sometimes also referred to as physical losses) or apparent losses (for example through theft or metering inaccuracies).
The PWD official said that the department is continuously working towards reducing the non-revenue water. He said that the replacement of water pipelines will bring down the non-revenue water by nearly 50 per cent. He said that the department will also try to further reduce the non-revenue water through the installation of digital meters.
Admitting that there is a need to improve the infrastructure, the official said that the non-revenue water for Salcete and Mormugao talukas was earlier around 38 per cent. He said that it has now come down to 32 per cent since the PWD took up digitalisation of water meters in Salcete.
The official said that the national average use of water per person is around 70 litres per day in rural areas, while in urban areas it is 135 litres per day. In Salcete, an average consumer uses around 150 litres of water per day, he said. He said that during the summer months, the demand for water increases, as many families, which otherwise are out of the state, return during the vacation.
The official said that with the replacement of pipelines, water lost due to leakages and the bursting of pipelines will be saved thus improving the distribution and helping the government achieve the 24×7 water supply target.