Understanding ISO 24528: A Guide for Water Utilities

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ISO Standard for Water Loss and NRW

Water is a resource that we cannot afford to waste. With increasing global urbanisation and the pressing need for sustainable resource management, efficiently managing water distribution systems has never been more critical.

Enter ISO 24528, a standard that sets the framework for reducing non-revenue water (NRW) and improving water utility management worldwide.

This blog post delves into the essence of ISO 24528, exploring its significance, applications, and benefits for water utilities striving for sustainability and efficiency.

What is ISO 24528?

ISO 24528 is an international standard that provides guidelines for water utilities to manage and reduce non-revenue water. Non-revenue water refers to the water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer for various reasons, including leaks, theft, or inaccurate metering.

By reducing NRW, ISO 24528 aims to enhance the operational efficiency of water utilities and ensure a sustainable and economically viable water supply system.

The Importance of Managing Non-Revenue Water

Managing non-revenue water is paramount for several reasons.

  • First, it directly impacts water utilities’ financial health. Water lost as NRW represents a significant cost without any revenue return, affecting the utility’s ability to invest in infrastructure and maintenance.
  • Secondly, reducing NRW is essential for environmental sustainability. As water scarcity becomes a pressing issue globally, conserving water resources by minimising losses is crucial.
  • Lastly, efficient NRW management improves service reliability and quality, ensuring communities can access a safe and consistent water supply into the future.

How ISO 24528 Helps

ISO 24528 provides a comprehensive framework for water utilities to tackle NRW. The standard outlines best practices for assessing, monitoring, and controlling water losses within a water distribution system.

It introduces methodologies for calculating economic levels of leakage and offers guidelines for implementing active leakage control strategies.

By adhering to ISO 24528, utilities can make informed decisions regarding investments in leakage detection, pressure management, and infrastructure improvements, leading to reduced water losses and enhanced operational efficiency.

Benefits of Implementing ISO 24528

The benefits of implementing ISO 24528 extend beyond water conservation. Utilities that adopt the standard can expect to see:

    • Cost Savings: By reducing NRW, utilities can lower their operational costs, translating into potential savings for consumers and higher profitability for the utility.
    • Improved Public Image: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and efficiency enhances a utility’s reputation among consumers, regulators, and environmental organisations.
    • Regulatory Compliance: ISO 24528 aligns with global best practices, helping utilities meet or exceed regulatory requirements regarding water loss management.
    • Enhanced System Reliability: Proactive NRW management leads to fewer leaks and breaks, reducing interruptions and ensuring a more reliable water supply.

    Practical Applications and Success Stories

    Numerous utilities worldwide have successfully implemented ISO 24528, significantly improving their NRW management. For instance, a Southeast European utility adopted the standard’s guidelines, focusing on pressure management and active leakage control. Within two years, the utility reported a 30% reduction in NRW, resulting in substantial cost savings and improved service reliability. Success stories like this underscore the standard’s applicability and effectiveness in diverse contexts.

    Conclusion: A Step Towards Sustainability

    ISO 24528 is critical in guiding water utilities towards more sustainable and efficient operations. By focusing on reducing non-revenue water, utilities not only conserve valuable water resources but also enhance their financial viability and service quality.

    As the global community continues to grapple with water scarcity and environmental sustainability challenges, adopting ISO 24528 offers a clear pathway for water utilities to contribute positively to this global effort.

    Water utilities and stakeholders interested in ISO 24528 are encouraged to investigate the standard, explore its methodologies, and consider its implementation as a step towards a more sustainable and efficient future.

    Need help with ISO 24528 in Australia and New Zealand?

    As water utilities in Australia and New Zealand embark on or seek to enhance their water loss reduction projects, the expertise and support of experienced partners become invaluable.

    This is where Aqua Analytics steps in.

    Specialising in advanced water loss management solutions, Aqua Analytics is dedicated to assisting utilities in their journey towards minimising non-revenue water and achieving sustainability goals.

    Our understanding of the ISO 24528 standard and its practical applications positions us as a pivotal ally for utilities aiming for excellence in water loss management. Contact us for more information or to commence a discovery consultation. 

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