In 2017, the International Association of Water Service Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD), EBC Foundation and the Danube Water Program joined forces to set up and run a professional benchmarking programme for drinking water- & wastewater utilities in the Danube region. Objective of the initiative was to help utilities improving their water services by benchmarking and learning from each other.
The programme - that was developed on top of existing regional programmes and targeted at frontrunner utilities in the region - was carried out by the newly established benchmarking hub for the Danube region, hosted and coordinated by IAWD, with technical support from EBC Foundation. The Danube Water Program and the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe financially supported the capacity building activities.
The Danube hub started its work in 2017 with a group of 18 water- & wastewater utilities from across the region. In 2018, the former Yugoslavia hub was discontinued and integrated in the Danube hub. In 2018/2019 the hub carried out the second and final edition of the series of benchmarking exercises in this context.
Utilities that participated submitted performance information and received their own, individual company report in which their performance in several areas was compared with other utilities in the group and - as a reference value - with the average performance of utilities elsewhere in Europe.
Next to this assessment, meetings and workshops were organised to exchange knowledge and good practices and jointly search for improvement opportunities.
The exercise was conducted in English. Participants could also submit data in Albanian, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ukrainian. In total, through this initiative 20 water utilities from the region were successfully trained and gained experience with benchmarking and improving by learning from good practices.