Dreampipe II has encouraged the development of workable and replicable ideas for how to expand the financing available for non-revenue-water (NRW) reduction activities in developing countries – beyond the conventional sources (mainly development banks and agencies and governments).
Non-Revenue Water (NRW) refers to the difference between the amount of water put into the water piped system and the amount of water billed to customers. This difference is due to physical water losses, from burst and unrepaired pipes or from overflow at storage tanks, and commercial water losses, due to incorrect or lack of billing and unauthorised water consumption. NRW affects all water utilities but is particularly high in many utilities in the developing world.
The focus of Dreampipe II has been on NRW-reduction activities and investments with high benefit-cost ratios and rapid payback periods – rather than on massive programmes of mains replacement that may be justified only over the longer term. In many utilities, the financial gains generated from the top priority set of NRW reduction activities (in decreased costs and increased revenue – while holding user tariffs constant in real terms) should be able to pay back the upfront investments and financing costs in 5–10 years.
This aspect is what drove the requirement that contestants planned an expansion project that would be financed to a substantial extent by non-traditional sources of funding and finance, many of whom may require market interest rates.
Building on the experience gained from Dreampipe I (formerly known as Dreampipe Stage 1), a second Dreampipe prize competition took place: Dreampipe II. It consisted of two distinct phases.
- Phase 1 - Business Plan competition, opened in early 2017
- Phase 2 - Demonstration Project, launched mid 2017
Prizes have been awarded to the winners of each phase.