Environmental implications of water as a natural resource-based business: The case of non-revenue water in Kisumu City, Kenya
Onyango, Teresa Aoko
Nyamai, Daniel Odinde
Okeyo, Owuor J. B.
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Most water utilities lose significant amounts of water in their distribution systems due to leakages, illegal consumption or accounting errors. These water losses are referred to as Non-Revenue Water (NWR) by the International Water Association. Efforts to reduce water loss levels are centered on the socioeconomic aspect (efficient water provision and profit maximization) while overlooking the environmental aspects because the effects are subtle; hence it is difficult to quantify or ascertain. This study examined the effects of non-revenue water on water quality, quantity and the general environment through purposive sampling of Key informants, Focus Group Discussion and desk review methods. The findings indicated a significant positive correlation between physical water losses and water quality parameters (p-value <0.05, rho=0.872); commercial losses had a moderate but positive correlation at P < 0.05, rho=0.432. Further results revealed that from May through October 2019, Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company lost approximately 158,500 cm equivalent to 31.17% water loss. Water loss was found to also affect environmental components such as land and soil leading to pollution and degradation. The study recommends the need for bridging the gap between the existing water resources management strategies and their implementation through further studies, capacity building and technological advancements.
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