Water Journal : Water Journal April 2012
feature article 66 APRIL 2012 water feature articles A twinning partnership between Western Australia's Water Corporation and a water company in Java is developing strategies to cut high levels of non-revenue water, such as leakages, which are a concern throughout Indonesia. The partnership program is focused on a district that has system losses of about 50 per cent in a largely semi-rural area south of Jakarta. It is within a wider region with a population of some four million, centred on Bogor, a city of economic, scientific, cultural and tourism importance in mountain foothills. The region is served by the water supply company, PDAM Kabupaten Bogor, which will adapt outcomes from the partnership to other parts of its operations. The program district's water supply system is beset with problems, including sections of galvanised iron pipelines up to 100 years old, meter errors, water theft and faulty construction methods in the past. It also contends with supply pressure problems and relatively high energy costs. The twinning partnership, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank through its Regional Technical Assistance program, began in late 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. A two-person Water Corporation team has visited the district three times, while a PDAM team made a return visit to Perth. On the Perth team's latest visit in February this year they gave a presentation on the project at a workshop in Jakarta conducted by the Ministry of Public Works and the Asian Development Bank. Improved Communications Robert Jaunzems, the Corporation's Energy Efficiency Unit Manager, said: "We have been focusing on providing technical advice on how to locate leakages and helping to improve efficiencies in energy use, which is one of the biggest operating costs in the district. We have developed an excellent relationship, and I have personally learned a lot about [Indonesian] culture." This has not been an issue for the other member of the Corporation team, Operations Data Analyst Jaime Adeane, who is Indonesian and has worked for the Corporation for almost two years after completing an electrical engineering degree at Perth's Curtin University. Jaime said their Indonesian partners greatly appreciated the Corporation's help and got a lot out of their visit to Perth. Robert said Jaime had proved critical to the project's success through improved communications. The Corporation has provided leak detection equipment, including listening devices, and provided training in how to use it. It also provided 10 water meters with greater accuracy and flow ranges than those in use on customer services. These are being used to determine if they will measure more water than those normally installed, thus reducing non-revenue water. The Corporation team is using different leak detection techniques in different parts of the supply system. It is also assisting with data collection and hydraulic modelling so that the models can be checked against actual system flows to look for problem areas. But it has not all been plain sailing. Robert said that walking along streets using leak noise amplifiers proved difficult because of high levels of street noise. And in a touch of irony, planned observations of PDAM operators conducting leak detection exercises were washed out by heavy rain storms. At first, the Perth team considered a pressure reduction trial to be the best approach to deal with system losses, but as Robert explained: "They have extreme pressure losses in the supply network due to leaks, but if we reduce the number of leaks, this will create higher pressure which could cause more leaks at weak points. "However, pressure reduction might be a useful technique in future to reduce leaks." An inspection of a successful pressure reduction trial in Perth to reduce water consumption was on the itinerary for the visiting Indonesian team, which also toured the Perth Seawater Desalination plant and historic Mundaring Weir. The team, accompanied by Indonesian Ministry of Public Works representative Luky Retno Andayani, talked with Corporation experts on asset management, hydraulic modelling, data analysis, energy efficiency and staff performance management. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding, and Corporation CEO Sue Murphy said there had been mutual learnings for the partners. Putting an Asset Management Plan in Place The discussions in Perth have led PDAM Kabupaten Bogor to conduct a survey of its assets and prepare an asset management plan, including a replacement business case. Water Corporation's Twinning Project By Terry Murphy, Communications Officer, Water Corporation of Western Australia Members of the Water Corporation team, Robert Jaunzems (third from right) and Jaime Adeane (far right) with representatives of PDAM Kabupaten Bogor and the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works, Luky Retno Andayani (second from left).
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