Utility Benchmarking for Drinking Water
Sunil K. Sinha
OverviewA robust performance evaluation process greatly enhances wastewater utility's ability to achieve and measure improvement in performance in many key areas. A major contribution from this study is the creation of a database and a comprehensive data collection process. Benchmarking helps utilities make policy and programmatic decisions that reduce operational expenses and increase productivity by: understanding areas of underperformance, understanding customer needs, developing future plans, and setting reasonable goals. A better understanding of the wastewater industry and what constitutes a high performance organization helps employees to visualize the improvement which can be a strong motivator for change.
This report presents the results of web-based wastewater utility benchmarking. This was accomplished by performing a comprehensive and quantitative assessment of overall performance by using wide variety of indicators to evaluate overall performance of utilities. Practical and robust methodologies were used to create a realistic benchmarking process, and it presents the current performance comparisons among multiple utilities for various areas that impact overall utility performance.
Web based benchmarking consists of two major parts - data collection, and result visualization. An online platform known as WATERiD has been created. This platform is where data is saved and results for multiple years can be analyzed and compared. This enables utilities to understand the change in performance over years in defined areas, and relative performance compared to similar utilities.