Performance measurement of the water distribution systems of the Brazilian Agreste region

Abstract According to the 2018 report produced by the National Sanitation Information System (hereby referred to by its Brazilian acronym SNIS), 40% of the total amount of water treated by state water utilities in 2016 was lost during its distribution, either through real losses or due to apparent losses. In addition to water, other types of loss are incurred in, such as financial resources and labour, moreover, the financial resources associated with these losses could otherwise be invested in improvements of the companies’ systems. This study aims to evaluate the performance of state water utilities in controlling and reducing water loss in supply systems based on the SNIS indicators in municipalities of the Brazilian Agreste. The methodology was based on descriptive statistics. Therefore, the adopted values of the operational indicators in each municipality were compared with reference values in order to analyse the efficiency of water supply systems and to establish a benchmark for the region. The best results were from Embasa (Bahia), while the worst performing state was Sergipe. The study provides useful information to managers of state companies when prioritising investments to improve inefficient systems.