Water utilities in developing countries are facing the challenges of substantial water losses in their water supply systems. In order to deliver water to their customers more efficiently and effectively, utilities must be able to measure and assess the performance of their water supply systems against set management objectives. However, water loss assessment is still not widely practised in developing countries. The task of measuring and evaluating performance is accomplished by performance assessment systems through well-defined performance indicators (PIs). Most PIs currently used are often not applicable in developing countries. This paper presents an eight-step participatory methodology for the selection of indicators and highlights challenges of integrating a PI culture in developing countries. In total, 25 PIs have been proposed as part of a standardized water balance methodology and so far 16 PIs have been tested successfully. The other nine PIs have not been tested, as the costs of generating and collecting reliable data outweigh the added benefits. In addition an appropriate water loss performance indicator computational tool has been developed to promote use of standardized water balance and performance measures by the utilities of developing countries.
Keywords: developing countries, indicators, performance assessment, water losses