Appropriate controls of water distribution

ENTRY DATE: 24.04.2012 | LAST UPDATE: 24.04.2012


  • Water Resources
  • Water supply measures


Applicable immediately

Technology Owners:

・Water utilities of Tokyo Metropolitan Government, City of Yokohama, etc. Tokyo Suido Services Co., etc.

Needs Address

The need to reduce the impacts of drought in areas that may experience drought due to climate change.

Adaptation effects

Ensuring water resource for draught lead by climate change

Overview and Features

・Water distribution control involves adjusting the operation of pumps and valves to control water pressure and volume, and the switching of systems.  By controlling water distribution, it is possible to distribute water in ways that respond appropriately to demand in the water service area.

・Water distribution control technologies include methods that deal with non-revenue-earning water (i.e., water leakage), thereby contributing to water resource conservation.

・In developing countries water leakage typically averages 30% to 40% of water distribution volume and can be as high as 50%. Thus, reducing the leakage rate is an important challenge.

・Japan's performance standards for technologies to control water leakage are among the best in the world. This achievement is due to the fact that Japan has been able to actually reduce the ratio of non-revenue-earning water and to supply water efficiently and effectively thanks to a number of approaches, such as laying durable and long-lasting pipe, designing pipe networks in blocks, and rehabilitating pipe networks (including replacement of aging pipes). An effective combination of various technologies, including those related to leak-detection and pipe repair (can repair without shutting off the water service) has also been effective.

・These technologies to control water leakage can contribute significantly to the improvement of the urban water environments in Asia's coastal zones, where the infrastructure and management of municipal water works and sewage systems is a major challenge.

In order to make leakage control become a part of routine activities, it is important to follow a reiterative cycle as shown below.

Cycle to reduce non-revenue-earning water (water leakage) 
Source: Water Supply Division, Health Service Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan


・About 150 million yen (amount of bilateral cooperation funding for the Human Resources Development Project for the Water Sector in Central Vietnam.)
・About 340 million yen (amount of bilateral cooperation funding for the Capacity Building Project for Water Supply System in Cambodia.)
Note: Please see table below, "Results of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) to reduce non-revenue water (water leakage) in developing countries"

Energy source


Ease of maintenance

  • These strategies require access to experts with a high level of knowledge about measures to reduce water leakage. 
  • It is necessary to maintain water meters.


・These strategies require access to experts with a high level of knowledge about measures to reduce water leakage.

・In order for water utilities and water providers to have sound operations, it is typically necessary to raise the ratio of revenue-earning water (ratio of water volume distributed that earns water revenues). In some countries and regions, the control/management of water meters and metering is not being conducted in an optimal manner.

・In order to gain broad support for water-related projects an important first step is to promote good water-use practices and customs at the local level.

Co-benefit, suitability for developing countries

・These technologies will help provide a more stable supply of water for domestic and industrial purposes, etc.
・People will have better access to safe drinking water.
・Water revenues can be expected to increase.
・Better efficiency of water utilities can be expected to reduce energy consumption, thereby also reduce CO2 emissions.

Information Resources

・"2010 Study for the Promotion of International Opportunities of Waterworks Industries," Water Supply Division, Health Service Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan (some materials in English).

・"International Opportunities for Japanese Water Businesses and Water-related Technologies: Summary of Working Group on Water Resources Policy," (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, March 2008) (in Japanese).