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Participation and practicalities

Western Europe

In 2019 the European Benchmarking Co-operation organises the 12th edition of its programme of annual benchmarking exercises for drinking water- & wastewater utilities in Western Europe (IB2018).

The exercises aim to assess the actual performance of your utility, determine strong points in which your utility is leading and also identify performance gaps where you can learn from others to improve.

IB2018 primarily targets at European water utilities, although utilities from outside Europe who wish to improve their services are also welcome to join and benefit from the peer utility network.

Please have a look at the 'Call to Register' for further information. This document contains all the background information about the International Benchmarking Exercise 2019 (IB2018 - Western European programme) and the registration procedure. To register directly please complete this online form.

Utilities who are interested in participation in one of the Danube Water Program utility benchmarking activities can have a look here for more information.

Process and planning

The exercise runs from 1 May 2018 to 31 December 2019 and is structured along seven consecutive steps.



Registration opens 1 March 2019; closing date is 26 April 2019. Utilities who would like to join after this date are still very welcome, however a delayed registration may result in not being included in the (draft) reporting.

You can register by completing the online Registration form. After submitting the form you will receive a confirmation by mail. Please sign this document and return it to

In case of delayed registration, please contact the EBC-project team via:

Beginning of April EBC organises an Orientation & Training workshop, in particular for those who are new to benchmarking.


Participation levels

For drinking water- as well as for wastewater activities, utilities can choose between three different participation levels: a basic, a standard and an advanced level. The most advanced level requires about 240 data elements for drinking water and 190 elements for wastewater, which takes on average about 2-3 weeks of labour to collect depending on experience and data availability.

The basic level takes considerably less effort. However, benchmarking is not so much about the data collection effort, but about the benefits you may expect in return. The more advanced the benchmarking level, the more the pay-off in terms of a more detailed performance analysis and a better insight in the respective business processes.

Project language

The programme is conducted in the English language. Therefore, involved utility staff should master English sufficiently.


To balance the need for a safe learning environment and the call for transparency, EBC applies the following confidentiality protocol:

I. as a general rule, EBC-partners and -participants handle individual utility data/-results that are submitted/exchanged in the framework of the project confidentially;

II. utilities can choose to participate transparently or anonymously:

  • transparent option: the results for the utility may be shared with other participants. This means that within the company report the results of all affirmative participants will be shown with their utility name. All other participating utilities will be shown anonymously;
  • anonymous option: the results for the utility must be presented in an anonymous way. This means that within the company report the results of all participating utilities will be shown anonymously;

III. in the (closed) benchmarking workshop, results of the performance comparisons are shown in a transparent way, to be able to discuss outliers, performance gaps & best practices more effectively;

IV. public reporting:

  • EBC is entitled to report externally about the results of the exercise;
  • names of participants and their general characteristics are considered to be public information;
  • all other individual utility data/results are confidential and will only be shown in an anonymous way;

V. comparisons with other data sources will be anonymous, unless agreed otherwise;

VI. for the remaining, EBC, its partners and participants endorse the EFQM Code of Conduct and act accordingly.


At registration, Participants are explicitly asked if they give permission to EBC to share collected IBNet-indicators with the World Bank. Permission of Participants to share IBNet-indicators, will only hold for these specific indicators.

Background information: IBNet is the global largest database of water- and sanitation services from the World Bank. At present, the IBNet-database mainly contains data from utilities in developing countries and emerging countries; the number of data from utilities in developed countries is still limited. For balanced policy making by the different stakeholders, the World Bank aims to include more data from utilities in developed countries. From this perspective the World Bank has requested EBC to share IBNet-indicators, as these are also collected in the EBC-programme. According to the confidentiality protocol, EBC does not exchange data with third parties without permission of Participants. Therefore, Participants are explicitly asked for this permission).

Participation Fee

EBC offers three different options to subscribe for its Western European benchmarking programme.

1. Subscription for one year (IB2017 only) – 9.500 Euro

2. Subscription until further notice, with the right to end participation annually – 9.000 Euro/year

3. Subscription for multiple years:

  • for 3 years – 8.750 Euro/year
  • for 5 years – 8.500 Euro/year

Utilities with less than 100.000 inhabitants can participate at the basic level for a reduced fee of 1.500 Euro/year.

This (not-for-profit) participation fee covers the common project costs, like: costs of the EBC-project team and external assistance; organisation of the Orientation & Training workshop and the benchmarking workshop; IT-costs (website, database, tools, certificates, licenses, etc.) and communication costs. Next to common project costs, the exercise brings own costs for the participant, like: labour costs for data collection & validation; travel and accommodation costs for attending the Orientation & Training workshop and the benchmarking workshop. Participants need to cover these costs themselves.

Terms and conditions

EBC's Terms and Conditions apply to the benchmarking exercise.

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