Under an EBRD-funded technical assistance project EBC, as sub-contractor in a project consortium led by the Dutch utility PWN and in close collaboration with the Romanian Water Utility Association ARA, supported the development of an “EBC-aligned” benchmarking programme in Romania.
In 2012 13 Romanian water utilities that entered into EBRD-loan agreements started a successful benchmarking project. After a training by EBC on the benchmarking process- and methodology, data collection and extensive analysis and validation of submitted data, first results were discussed in a benchmarking workshop in Covasna in November 2012. Also, experiences and good practices were exchanged. As a spin-off of the project, a delegation of the Romanian group participated in the annual EBC-workshop in Hamburg, Germany to connect to and exchange with Western European peer utilities. Final reports were delivered in December 2012.
During one of the project meetings in Constanta, ARA organised a leak detection competition to encourage teams from utilities across Romania to reduce response time to repair bursts and leaks and thus reduce leakage rates.
Extensive assistance was given to the participating utilities by the local consultant of the project consortium, to fasten data collection and improve the data quality. In 2013 an additional group of 11 utilities that also entered into EBRD-loan agreements joined the benchmarking project.
The 2012-2013 Romanian benchmarking project was the first showcase of EBC’s benchmarking hub concept.