Plugging leaks that are costing Asia’s water utilities at least $9 billion a year in revenue would reduce water loss and aid tens of millions of people, according to an Asian Development Bank study.
“While Asia and the Pacific is increasingly facing a major water crisis, we see unacceptable levels of water being lost through leaks and inefficiencies,” said Bindu Lohani, ADB’s vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development. “By cutting the amount of lost water in half, 150 million people could be supplied with treated water.”
About 29 billion cubic meters of water is lost each year in the region, enough to fill more than 11 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, the Manila-based bank said today at the start of Singapore International Water Week. A low rate of unaccounted- for water is critical, the ADB said, cited Phnom Penh as having brought its lost water rate down to 6 percent when some levels in the region are as high as 60 percent.
The ADB’s shareholders consist of 67 countries. The U.S. and Japan hold the most voting power.
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