Mathematical model for estimating water consumption in the unmetered areas in Kumasi

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The supply of water to the urban centers in Ghana is the responsibility of Ghana Water Company. The Water Company finds it difficult to operate, maintain and expand their services. About 50% of the water produced in Ghana by Ghana Water company limited (GWCL) is unaccounted for and out of this figure about 25% is believed to be due to commercial losses, of which underestimation of the water consumed by the consumers in the unmetered areas is a factor. The main problem leading to the above problems is financial leading to inadequate water meters for installation. The importance of developing a model to properly estimate water consumption for the unmetered areas cannot be overemphasized. In carrying out the studies, the housing types in Kumasi were divided into three based on the housing characteristics. These were type 1 representing 1-3 household residence - high income groups, type 2 houses representing houses having 4-6 households with a meter and belonging to the middle income group. Type 3 houses represent houses with 7 or more households and belonging to the low-income group. Three locations were selected from each of the housing classification types and an average of 40 houses sampled from each location for the research. Water consumption data from January - December for 2002 and 2003 were obtained from the commercial of the GWCL. The selected houses were visited for data on population, monthly incomes and other relevant information such as water points. Temperature and rainfall data for 2002 and 2003 were collected from the meteorological office to find out how the weather conditions affect water consumption in the metropolis. Analyses were performed on the data using basically, SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Scientists) software to generate the mathematical models for the various house types. The results of the study showed that the model for housing type1 gave values, which were comparable to those, generated by the consumption values recorded by the meters. The models for type2, type3 and the combined housing types did not give any favorable values for these models to be considered as estimation methods. Test on the unmetered areas in Patasi (type 1) basically, revealed that about 70% of the consumption estimated by the flat rates was underestimated. This implies that the development of the model and its subsequent implementation will go a long way to increase the revenue generated from the unmetered areas belonging to the type 1 housing characteristics.
A Thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies KNUST, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation programme, 2004