Title: Ensuring Water Supply in Kuala Lumpur

Language: English

Type: Document

Nature: Report

Published: January 1, 2018

Region: South Asia

Country: Malaysia

Sector: Water and Sanitation

Keywords: Knowledge Lab, Water


Document Summary:

In 1998, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and home to 1.5 million people, was running out of water. Water was rationed for five months. To end this crisis, the State Waterworks Department hired a contractor under a performance-based contract (PBC) to reduce non-revenue water (NRW). This case showcases the project.

Document Details:


  • Reduced NRW by 198 million liters per day (MLD), equal to 10 percent of total water production for the city at the start of the contract

  • Repaired more than 11,000 leaks

  • Replaced 119,000 customer meters

  • Avoided capital expenditure on alterna- tive water supply sources. Using typical benchmark costs, a new supply of 198 MLD could have cost around $200 million (compared to the NRW-PBC cost of $110 million)

  • Earned additional revenue from the sale of the water saved

  • Reduced operating costs per unit of water sold (energy and chemical costs) because a higher percentage of water produced was sold

  • Established more than 220 NRW reduction zones, called district metered areas (DMAs)

Updated: April 25, 2022