A review of nonrevenue water assessment software tools

WIREs Water. Mar-Apr 2020;7(2):e1413. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1413. Epub 2020 Feb 18.


Several software tools are available that can assess the performance of nonrevenue water (NRW) in water distribution networks and plan for reduction measures. Of the 21 tools that have been reported in the literature, 12 are freely available. The creation of these many tools and different versions of each individual tool indicates the promising future of NRW software development. This review comprises 12 freely available tools for water balance establishment, NRW performance assessment, and NRW reduction planning. Most of the tools have been developed to establish standard annual water balances and recommended performance indicators (PIs) for the entire network. Some tools have been developed to intervene and reduce the leakage in a district metered area. Key features increasingly being included in NRW software include uncertainty analysis, recognition of supply intermittency, and accommodation of a guidance matrix and benchmarks. Leakage assessment is fully recognized, and leakage reduction analyses are increasingly growing in the software tools. However, much less attention has been paid to assessing and options for reducing apparent losses. Although a comprehensive NRW management tool for monitoring, planning, and intervention is not currently available, developing a comprehensive tool is worthwhile, in the form of one package or a kit of smaller tools. Toward this goal, the article provides insights and recommendations addressing topics of intermittency, normalization, multi-method assessment, planning for the reduction of apparent and real losses, and estimation of the economic level of water loss. This article is categorized under:Engineering Water > Planning WaterEngineering Water > Methods.

Keywords: apparent losses; leakage; nonrevenue water; performance indicators; software tool.

Publication types

  • Review