Susteq is getting more and more water utilties as clients. They have the mandate to provide safe water to all community members, but that is not an easy job. There are challenges of lack of scalable infrastructure, rapid urbanization, climate change and low community income. Several studies show that NRW is typically between 35 and 50% among water utilities in developing countries, while a realistic goal for developing country utilities would be 25%.* It is clear that all these contribute to the water finance gap in reaching SDG6.
From a 2013 dataset it was observed that only 17% of utilities in developing countries managed to cover their Operation & Maintenance costs.* It is evident that this is a major bottleneck for water utitlies that want to provide reliable water for all. There is no magic bullet for fixing these issues, but water utilities are increasingly seeing the benefits of prepaid water meters, both at household level and on communal water points.
It is very important that we are able as a utility to generate revenue where nobody thought we would be able to generate revenue, this is really something that has made us to feel really very good about this system. And more important, that now people are getting water legally and in a cheaper way than they were doing before.Phillip Gichuki, Managing Director of Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company
Prepaid meters on communal water points give consumers 24/7 access to water. With the Susteq prepaid water ATM rates can be fixed or flexible, depending on the needs of the water utility, but are always transparant for the consumer. The system is independent of grid power, so consumers have access even during power cuts or in areas where grid power is not available. The online monitoring dashboard has customizable early warning systems that help to keep systems functional as much as possible. On top of that, utilities appreciate the integration with their current billing systems.
If you work with a water utility and want more information on the practicalities of prepaid meters in your water infrastructure, initial cost and return on investment: don’t hesitate to email us on email@example.com.
* References available upon request