Tap Water Costs and Service Sustainability, a Close Relationship

Autores UPV


Water is currently an essential and strategic resource for society and its importance will rise in the future due to the increasing number of threats. However, water management is not currently up to par taking into consideration this well acknowledged importance. Generally speaking, water use is not efficient and loss figures are often too high. The reasons behind this situation are complex and diverse, however, in principle, they can be divided into four categories: cultural, political, social and economic. Since the latter are of most importance, this paper focuses on water costs from source to tap. The economic analysis presented quantifies the costs of a sustainable urban water service in a structured way. The second part of the paper present a case study in which the economic losses linked to leakage are assessed as a function of how expenses are recovered. The cost of apparent losses could also be assessed in a similar way and will always be higher, since apparent losses (unlike real ones) are present throughout the whole water cycle, thus increasing the unit costs.