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With the By-law on the Control of Water Losses in Drinking Water Supply and Distribution Systems published in 2014, the duties and responsibilities of water administrations to reduce water losses in water supply, transmission, distribution, and consumption were determined. Metropolitan and provincial municipalities are obliged to reduce their water losses to a maximum of 30% until 2023, and to a maximum of 25% until 2028, while other municipalities will reduce their water losses to a maximum of 35% until 2023, to a maximum of 30% until 2028, and to a maximum of 25% until 2033.

Across the country, the amount of water entering the drinking and utility network in 2021 was approximately 6.22 billion m3/year. Annually, 2.09 billion m3 of this water was lost before reaching users, with the water loss rate in drinking water supply and distribution systems calculated to be 33.54% in 2021. In addition to the water loss rate, the non-revenue water rate, which includes unbilled authorized consumption, was determined as 38.67%. At the current stage, the average water loss rate in Türkiye, which was 39% in 2015, has been reduced to 33.54% in 2021 as a result of the activities carried out.

If the average water loss rate is reduced to 25%, the water saving achieved today would correspond to Ankara’s two-year water demand. However, in today’s conditions, this rate is not considered sufficient. In developed countries, water loss rates range between 8 to 24%. Therefore, the 25% target should not be the final target, the goal is to reach levels around 10%. All responsible parties will continue to work until the lowest level that can be achieved technically and economically for each municipality is reached.

In order to prevent losses in drinking water systems, municipalities should prioritize and implement the following actions: Establishing geographic information system infrastructure, disseminating remote monitoring and sensing control systems, using hydraulic models, establishing regional metering and pressure management areas, monitoring the system by using active leakage control, analysing the minimum night flow, registering unauthorized connections and improving the infrastructure where needed. In this regard, the future needs and plans of the municipalities to reduce water losses have been noted by the Ministry in Business Deadline Plans.

Considering climate change, increasing population and growing needs, rapid industrialization, and similar pressures on water resources, it is clear that we are not likely to waste even a drop of water. For this reason, it is essential that all institutions/organizations take the necessary measures immediately.

Preserve water, preserve the future!

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