Title: Voluntary water utility benchmarking for collective learning: lessons from Europe

Authors: Carlos E. Diaz Villanueva; Maarten W. Blokland

Addresses: CDConsultancy Economics & Water, Herenmarkt 93A, 1013 EC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ' Blokland Advisory Services, Oosteinde 17, 2611 VA, Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: The paper compares two European voluntary water utility benchmarking initiatives, one of which is characterised by low costs and the confidentiality of results, and the other one by moderate costs, publication of the results and proven efficiency improvements. Both systems have been successful in achieving their primary objective of providing a learning platform for the participating utilities. The application of voluntary water utility benchmarking in middle and low income countries is considered feasible yet the design needs to be adapted to the local context and challenges. Such design would among others need to consider the objectives of benchmarking, the specific challenges in water supply, the availability and reliability of data, the auditing requirements and the cost of the exercise. The introduction of benchmarking in regions where data and information sharing is rather uncommon may be encouraged by parallel performance improvement activities including capital and capacity investments.

Keywords: voluntary benchmarking; performance indicators; performance assessment; performance improvement planning; water supply; developing countries; collective learning; Europe; water utilities; data availability; data reliability; auditing; costs; data sharing; information sharing; capital investment; capacity investment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2016.075565

International Journal of Water, 2016 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.139 - 154

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 09 Feb 2016 *

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