Performance Indicators and Benchmarking Systems
Around the world, benchmarking to compare the performance of water supply undertakings is attracting interest. The focus is on management aspects and efficiency, but environmental and resource protection have not yet been reflected adequately in most systems. This project provides presents an overview with examples of benchmarking systems from all over the world. Some systems developed by international organisations and from Member States of the European Union (other than Germany) are explained in more detail.
Comparison of performance indicators or benchmarking systems could help to support the goals of a sustainable water supply. Therefore it has to be ensured that all three dimensions of sustainability - the environmental, economic and social - are represented in one system and the regional specifics of water supply are considered when taking measures with respect to sustainable water management systems. With the aid of a benchmarking systems special performance indicators of water supply companies can be quantified. On the one hand, the results should serve as a management instrument, helping companies to increase their own performance, and on the other hand they should be exchanged between the companies to facilitate learning from each other.
The project report is part of the book "Sustainable water supply in Germany" by the German Federal Environment Agency that was published in 2001. Ecologic's task was to gather experiences with various organisational and institutional water supply models as well as to identify approaches for introducing benchmarking systems in Europe and Australia. The results are meant to contribute to the current debate in Germany about the structures of water utilities services. Policy papers summarise the main findings, conclusions and recommendations for the German discussion.