Een ogenblik geduld a.u.b.


Goal of the international Benchmarking Programme is to assist drinking water- and wastewater utilities in their continuous efforts to improve their services. Participation in the  EBC’s programmes is beneficial for three main reasons: First of all, benchmarking offers insight in own performances. Secondly, it provides an overview of performance in comparison to peer utilities. Thirdly, it offers access to the knowledge base of all participants and wide international network.  EBC developed a variety of tools and deliverables to support the participants in these efforts. 

Participation in the programme results in the following deliverables:


  • Orientation & Training workshop 
  • Support in increasing data quality
  • Online data reporting tool 


  • Individual Company report 
  • Annual Public report  

Knowledge sharing

  • Access to an international peer network 
  • Online discussion forum
  • Knowledge Picnics on the most relevant topics
  • Annual benchmarking workshop

What to expect

Orientation & Training workshop

The benchmarking cycle starts with an optional Orientation & Training workshop in April/May which is used to explain the programme, the benchmarking process, the methodology and how to assure a good data quality. The workshop targets in particular at those who are new to benchmarking.

The online platform 

Participants have access to an online platform which contains the data submission module, reporting dashboard, reporting tool and a discussion forum. 

The data submission module is used to enter all the required information and contains several checks and balances ((waste) water balance and cost & revenue models) in order to increase data quality.

The annual company reports are presented via the online dashboard. The company reports contain results of the individual assessment, comparison to the group & comparable group, trend over time, performance on SDGs-related PIs, etc. The brand-new interactive dashboard interface allows water utilities management and personnel to analyse the assessment results more efficiently comparing to the static reports. 

In contrast to the annual company reports, the online reporting tool offers access to the EBC’s database, incl. historic data. The utility benchmarking coordinator is able to choose any indicator from the available large database. This makes it possible to customise one’s own analysis. The system offers a straightforward layout making it relatively easy to use. 

The online system offers a wide range of table & graph options. Depending on the selected data, it is possible to present it for instance in a form af a spider diagram, bar chart or point cloud. The latter has the added benefit: looking for possible correlations. After plotting two PI’s, one can for instance generate a regression line through the data to see if the data is significantly correlated. 


The graphs can also be used to display data of multiple years to track the performance trends. This option could be helpful if a participant is looking for a peer utility who performs well in a specific area in order to support its quest to find best practices. Data availability and visibility of course depends on the period of participation and the chosen degree of transparency.

After the desired graphs and/or tables are customised, data can be easily exported to multiple formats for further use. Among other options, one can choose to export it to Word in order to create a customised report, for instance, on Asset management or choose to export it as a PowerPoint in order to use the data for presentations within the benchmarking team or to the management of the utility. Export to Excel, PDF and even MP4 is available among various formats as well.

Screenshot of the data reporting tool

Support in improving data quality

In order to increase the data quality and check for possible outliers in the data entry, EBC uses two steps: Validation report (with outliers analysis) and Draft report.
The validation report aims to provide benchmarking coordinators with an overview of the calculated performance indicators (PIs) based on the collected data, in order to: draw the attention on the top and bottom PIs to identify the outliers (if any) in each performance area; to draw attention to utility’s own PI-values in comparison to the values of other participants and to the group (draft) average and comparable group (draft) average. The validation report helps benchmarking coordinator to check the quality of the collected data and to work on its improvement.
Moreover, EBC’s team provides participants with the outliers analysis (in cases when the outliers occur).
The draft report is generated to check the first results and perform an additional check on submitted data.
These two consecutive steps and constant communication between the participants’ and EBC’s teams allow us to improve significantly data quality and have reliable data for further analysis in the final company report.

The benchmarking workshop

A benchmarking workshop where utility representatives meet to validate the comparisons, identify performance gaps, discuss possible explanations, share good practices and innovations, network and discuss improvement actions. 
The annual benchmarking workshop is an essential part of the exercise. At this stage, utility management needs to step in, because improving the service requires input from utility staff of different expertise. EBC encourages participating utilities to be represented in the workshop by staff of different backgrounds, like senior management, process managers, experts and benchmarking coordinators. Participation of 3 delegates per utility is included in the participation fee.