Published: 10. Aug 2023

Water loss reduced by 8% in Tema city in Ghana

Drikkevand Ghana Tema

Ghana Water has reduced their water loss by 8% in the city of Tema. Technology and knowledge of leak detection has been transferred from Aarhus Vand to Tema. The gains are that employees working with water in Tema are able to actively detect and repair leaks now.

In Ghana people do not have 24/7 water supply. Water derives primarily from the Accra River and the ground, but once it has been extracted a lot of water is lost.

“In terms of water supply there is a deficit of 300.000 m3 compared to the demand in Ghana. We do not have enough production capacity. Another big challenge is the water loss which in the city of Tema is around 52%,” says Maxwell Akosah-Kusi, Manager Non-revenue Water, Ghana Water Company Ltd..

The reason for water loss or non-revenue water is both leakages on pipes, but also illegal connections to the water system and people receiving water without being invoiced.

Cooperation with Aarhus Vand since 2019

In 2019 the municipality of Aarhus and Aarhus Vand signed a cooperation agreement with Ghana Water. Since then, Aarhus Vand has worked on reducing non-revenue water in a pilot area in the city of Tema in Ghana.

“We have focused on leak detection and the use of basic and more advanced methods to find leaks. Also, repairing leaks in a proper quality has been one of our focus areas. In some cases, the replacement of pipes is necessary. Through asset management and the use of data, we have prioritized replacements within a limited budget,” says Flemming Fogh Pedersen, Project Manager, Aarhus Vand.

Leakage detection used to rely on complaints from the public

Before the cooperation with Aarhus Vand leaks were usually not repaired until water was visible on the surface.

“We used to rely on complaints and reports from the public. We did not perform active leakage detection,” says Patrick Awotwe, Manager, Technology & Innovations at Ghana Water Company Ltd..

However, this situation has improved. In his opinion the people in Tema working with water supply have become much more aware of how much water and money are being lost to leaks.

Leakage Tema Night Technology
Leakage detection in Tema at night

Can actively find and repair leaks now

“We have been introduced to basic leak detection equipment and we have learned how to find leaks and repair them on our own. We also know how to use flow meters and have a few smart meters helping us to find leaks,” says Patrick Awotwe.

In addition, the employees are also able to teach eachother how to find leaks and the importance of this. The knowledge and technology transfer within leak detection has had an impact in the opinion of Ghana Water.

The impact has been great

“Up until today we have recorded a water loss reduction of about 8% - so the impact has been great, concludes Maxwell Akosah-Kusi.

As manager of non-revenue water, he is focused on solving the challenges with water also by means of digitalization of processes, electronic billing and GIS-systems. A second round of cooperation will continue to focus on the digitalization of the water system through GIS enabling the use of asset management to prioritize daily repairs and pipe replacement.

“The second phase will focus on digitalization and how we can upscale our efforts so that we can reduce water loss in entire Ghana. Furthermore, we will also be working on the quality of weldings and educate more within pipe repair and quality of materials used to renew the water system,” says Flemming Fogh Pedersen, Aarhus Vand.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and realized in cooperation with Aarhus Municipality.

Flemming Fogh Pedersen Web

Flemming Fogh Pedersen

Director, Globalisation