Water is a vital source for all known forms of life. We need it to drink, to prepare food, for washing and cleaning, as well as for industrial and food production. Water is irreplaceable, however clean water is becoming scarce in many parts of the world.
Nearly 1.2 billion people, one-fifth of the world's population, live in areas of water scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation.
Another 1.6 billion people, one quarter of the world's population, face economic water shortage.
The fact that in developing countries alone more than $2.9 billion of additional cash could be generated from reduced costs or increased revenues associated with a realistic 50 percent reduction of physical and commercial losses should capture the attention of donors and developing countries’ governments alike.
Achievable reductions in physical losses should release at least 8 billion cubic meters per year of already-treated water—enough to service an additional 90 million people without drawing further on scarce water resources.
In practice, good paybacks are possible with well-designed NRW reduction programs; therefore, if nothing else, NRW reduction makes business sense, although each opportunity has to be assessed in terms of its particular cost-benefit ratio.