The INDAQUA group has been awarded two public tenders valued at close to six million euros to reduce unbilled water in Maia and nine municipalities in the Aveiro district, with a contractual model in which part of the compensation comes from a waste reduction by clients, a model applied for the first time in this this area of public procurement in Portugal.
In the case of the nine municipalities in the Aveiro district, where the five-year contract is for €3.4 million, the objective is to reduce water loss in public distribution systems, so that the value of unbilled water drops from 35.7% to 22.8%. The project envisages the necessary works in network zoning, pressure control and replacement of meters.
It is an innovative contract, since it provides for the payment of a substantial portion of the contract price only in terms of the savings achieved with improved performance.
In the case of the town of Maia, the value of the five-year contract is €2.5 million and INDAQUA's objective is to reduce the unbilled water from 32.7% to 12.9%.
To this end, the company will carry out a cadastral survey and implement a geographic information system, as well as the necessary works for network zoning, pressure control, meter replacement and other engineering, research and monitoring work.
The company has the resources and expertise to manage the supply of drinking water and wastewater sanitation with quality, efficiency and precision. It has sufficient capability to alleviate some of the major issues in supply and sanitation networks, resulting water losses due to, for example, network leakages, and the remediation of unwanted inflows, such as infiltrated rainwater.
In fact, "performance-based contracts with a savings guarantee are structuring elements of INDAQUA's service portfolio and, without a doubt, the best answer to the water loss problem in Portugal, so we think there will be more public tenders that promote this contractual model," says Enrique Castiblanques, CEO, INDAQUA group.
"With this approach, we are enabling other municipalities to achieve, without major risks or investments, levels of efficiency similar to those we have already achieved in our concessions; less than half of the water losses that exist nationally," he adds.
This model, inspired by the ESCO companies in the energy sector, considerably limits the risk for the operator, who outsources the technical support and investment to INDAQUA, and has already been successfully tried out in several international contracts by its parent company, Miya.
It should be remembered that INDAQUA closed fiscal 2018 with a reduction in losses (-14%) for the fourth consecutive year, which contrasts with the national trend of the 256 Management Entities that recorded losses of 30%. If the country as a whole had the same level of results as the municipalities in which Indaqua operates (Fafe, Matosinhos, Santa Maria da Feira, Oliveira de Azeméis, Santo Tirso, Trofa and Vila do Conde), just in 2018, they would have saved 157 million m3 (enough to supply the country for more than 3 months).