THE Water and Sewerage Corporation has signed an $83 million contract with Miya/Veritec to reduce the substantial leakage from its distribution system. Glenn Laville, general manager of WSC, said the contract was made possible by a $81 million loan agreement signed on December 16, 2011, between the WSC and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). "The loan is essentially to help the WSC to achieve financial and operational sustainability," he said. The strategy will focus on New Providence and tackle four major areas of concern: * The reduction of lost water, known as non-revenue water (NRW) * Institutional strengthening * Rehabilitation and upgrade of waste water infrastructure and preparation of a Waste Water Treatment Plan * Update the regulatory framework for the sector "The NRW is by far the largest and arguably the most critical component of the loan programme. WSC presently does not generate revenue from over five million gallons of the water it supplies daily in New Providence," Mr Laville said. "This is equivalent to over 50 per cent in losses and is valued at nearly $16 million annually." He explained that after a competitive bidding process, Miya Water Projects Netherlands and Veritec Consulting Incorporated came out as the top ranking firm. Miya is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arison Investments, a global business company incorporating firms in the Israeli and world economy. Arison is involved in finance, real estate, infrastructure, water and energy. Mr Laville noted that Miya is a global leader in water loss management and offers a comprehensive water efficiency solution. Veritec, a Miya Group company, is recognised as a leading firm in North America in water loss management and water conservation, he added. The main objective of the project is to reduce NRW from more than five million gallons a day to 2.5 million gallons within five years, Mr Laville said. "The second phase ensures that the reduction is maintained for a sufficiently long period for WSC to benefit fully. "Additionally during the second phase, Miya/Veritec is required to reduce NRW further to 2.0 million gallons per day in year seven. During the 10 year period, over 10 billion gallons are expected to be saved," he said. While the cost is $83 million, the projected savings exceed $80 million, as WSC will receive more than $40 million in infrastructure and other improvements, Mr Laville said.