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Participation and practicalities


In 2024 the European Benchmarking Co-operation Foundation organises the 18th edition of its programme of annual benchmarking exercises for drinking water- & wastewater utilities in Europe (IB2023).

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

IB2023 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.

Registration for the new cycle is open as of 14 February 2024. You can register by completing this form (Google form). 

To introduce the programme to interested utilities, EBC organises online Orientation sessions on demand. During such sessions we:

  • introduce the programme and its benefits
  • show the online environment
  • answer your questions.  

If you are interested in joining the EBC-programme and would like to know more, please send an e-mail to    

Process and planning

The exercise runs from 6 May 2024 to 4 December 2024* and is structured along seven consecutive steps.



Registration is still open (till June 1st, 2024). Utilities who would like to join after this date are still very welcome, however, late registration might 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:


In response to the current coronavirus pandemic we have taken a few measures to carry out the work as responsibly as possible:

we again use more flexible planning this year, because we realize that daily activities at water utilities are currently not carried out as usual. The cycle starts on May 6, but it is no problem to register now and step in later when circumstances require;

the annual start-up event for new participants, the Orientation- and Training workshop will be organised based on the demand. We will organise it to introduce interested utilities to the programme and online platform, give extra support to new participants through our helpdesk and provide training materials online;

the annual benchmarking workshop is tentatively planned for 6-8 November 2024 in Torino.


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 272 data elements for drinking water and 224 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 (= B2023 only). Fee for 2024 – 11.750 euro/year

2. Subscription until further notice (= continuous participation with the right to end participation annually before the new calendar year). Fee for 2024 – 11.000 euro/year

3. Subscription for multiple years (= contract for three years). Fee for 2024 - 10.250 euro/year*

Smaller sized utilities with less than 100.000 inhabitants can participate at the basic level at a reduced fee of 1.800 euro/year (fee for 2024).

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

* EBC holds the right to annually adjust the fees with the Dutch consumers price index (inflation).

Terms and conditions

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