MIYA to Save 1.4 Billion Litres of Water in the Next Five Years in the Municipality of Chaves in Portugal

03 Feb 2022

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Chaves Town Council, in partnership with MIYA, through its Portuguese subsidiary INDAQUA, is developing a Water Efficiency Project with a performance-based contract that will reduce water losses throughout the municipality's supply networks. In addition to the environmental benefits, the company also guarantees the municipality a saving of 2.3 million euros.

In 2019, much of the water entering Chaves' supply networks was lost before reaching consumers' homes, which placed the municipality with inefficiencies above the national average. The Water Efficiency Project with Remuneration for Performance signed by the Municipality of Chaves and MIYA will reduce water loss in the municipality to about half of its current figure in only five years.

The contract, valued at nearly 1.7 million euros, guarantees environmental benefits, preventing the loss of 1.4 billion litres of water, as well as economic benefits, as the municipality will achieve savings of over 2.3 million euros. These results will extend beyond the end of the contract (2026) as the partnership set up will enable the town of Chaves to continue applying the procedures that ensure the reduction of losses, generating significant annual savings.

This agreement follows an innovative model in the water sector in Portugal, which transfers the investment risk to the company and not to the contracting entity, whether public or private. This is because almost all of INDAQUA's revenue depends on its performance, i.e. on the actual achievement of the objectives defined contractually for the reduction of losses. 

To achieve the goals set, INDAQUA, amongst other actions, will assess the need for rehabilitation of infrastructures, carrying out actions in the monitoring of water networks and implementation of artificial intelligence tools that will analyse the data collected and support the rapid action in the field to eliminate leaks along the 495 km of water networks in the municipality. It will also reduce the water pressure in critical areas, in order to reduce the number of ruptures and repair costs. On a commercial level, the detection and elimination of illicit consumption and connections will be effected, and the renewal of the water meter fleet will be evaluated, to make the measurement and billing of the service provided to customers more efficient. 

"Over more than 25 years of activity, INDAQUA has acquired great experience in reducing losses in the territories where it operates municipal water concessions, that is, where it is responsible for the total management of the supply networks. The good results achieved have led us to take part in the Water Efficiency Projects, so that we can share INDAQUA's experience and knowledge with other managing entities, which allows us to achieve real savings results in a short period of time", explains Pedro Perdigão, CEO of INDAQUA.

"In this project we see a way to promote greater efficiency in the management of the water supply in our municipality. This way, we will be respecting a resource that belongs to everyone and that is increasingly threatened by phenomena such as climate change and pollution, promoting a more sustainable future for the municipality of Chaves", says Nuno Vaz, Mayor of Chaves.

In Portugal, water losses in the supply networks (measured by the indicator "Non-Revenue Water") have remained close to 30% for nine years, far above the 20% recommended by the sector regulator ERSAR. INDAQUA has broken with this trend and, in 2020, achieving average losses of only 13.9%, in the seven municipalities where it held municipal water concessions (Fafe, Matosinhos, Oliveira de Azeméis, Santa Maria da Feira, Santo Tirso, Trofa and Vila do Conde). If the whole country performed as well as INDAQUA, Portugal would save 122 million m3 of water in a single year, enough to supply the country for around 3 months, and 70 million euros, equivalent to the rehabilitation of 1,000 km of pipelines.