The study, commissioned by the Sol Plaatje municipality in 2010, found that only 26.2% of the water it distributed was properly metered, invoiced and paid for by consumers.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said on Monday that an overhaul of infrastructure had already begun to tackle the problem.
“The remaining activities [recommendations] will start as soon as designs and budgets have been finalised,” he said.
Matsie said the municipality asked for the study after realising its water supply system was not functioning efficiently.
The audit revealed that 75 megalitres a day – 45% of all the water produced — was lost because of leaks in the system.
Matsie said it had also emerged that the municipality had about 5 900 residential non-paying consumers and about 235 non-residential consumers not paying for water.
There were an estimated 7 800 illegal connections.
Other problems identified included stuck water meters, undersized and old water meters, properties with no meters, and meters with no readings.
Matsie said steps would be taken to make the water network more efficient and reduce leaks by as much as 30%.