Myanmar’s largest city losing half the daily water supply


In Myanmar, Southeast Asia, approximately 100 million gallons of water, nearly half of the daily amount supplied by the Yangon municipality to its residents, is wasted in the supply process.

According to officer U Aung Hsan Win of the water and sanitation branch of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), the municipality supplies 205 gallons of water each day.

100 million gallons goes to waste daily because of shortcomings in the water delivery system and the illegal piping of water.

“Currently, the population of Yangon is between 5 and 6 million…This means that only 50 to 60% of Yangon residents get water,” said U Aung Hsan Win.

“Some businessmen illegally pipe the water supplied by us, as we charge differently for industrial use and household use,” he added.

This problem exists in Mandalay as well, said U Win Myo Thu, managing director of Economically Progressive Ecosystem Development Group (EcoDev), which advocates for environmental governance.

“There are many causes including management and technology problems. We may need millions of dollars to fix this,” he said.

Yangon’s population is expected to grow to 10 million by 2040, which will place great pressure on resources and distribution infrastructure.

U Aung Hsan Win said: “We are checking non-revenue water with the technical assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency.

“The Yangon municipality has carried out NRW pilot projects in Mayangone, South Okkalapa, Insein and Yankin townships so far.

“And we are now conducting it in North Okkalapa Township.”

Joe Phyu, Phu Gyi, Hlawga, and Nga Moe Yeik reservoirs supplies 185 million gallons, and 20 million more gallons come from artesian wells, according to YCDC.

According to the Yangon Region Parliament, YCDC spent more than $47 million on water supply in 2016-17.