From 22 to 24 March the UN Water Conference 2023 took place in New York, almost 50 years after its previous, first edition.
Water is an integral driver for sustainable development. As we have seen in the many years of working with drinking water- and wastewater utilities in EBC’s improvement programme, the activities of water utilities not only relate to SDG6 (‘Clean water and sanitation) but also touch on most other SDGs.
At the UN Water Conference 2023 EBC Foundation urged the sector to accelerate reaching the SDGs using benchmarking and knowledge exchanges, as global challenges require more joint efforts, regional cooperation, sound assessment of the actual state and the ability to monitor progress towards the set targets.
Since its inception in 2007, EBC’s improvement programme for water services -with annual benchmarking cycles- shows the value of the thorough assessments in combination with knowledge exchange activities for a large network of water utilities and -practitioners from across Europe and beyond. We are proud that we have managed to create a water community that actively contributes to global sustainable development.
So far, the EBC-programme has reached out to more than 250 utilities from across Europe and beyond. Over time, we observe many positive trends in performance levels and we will continue to encourage the participants to further improve their services.
The EBC-programme and its approaches turn out to be universally applicable, as evidenced by the positive experiences with Water Operator Partnerships (WOP’s) today in Ethiopia, Peru and the Philippines. In these WOP’s, a benchmarking component is added to get a better view on the actual performance in all relevant areas and prioritise improvement actions, with the final goal to accelerate reaching the SDGs.
It was an honor for EBC to be part of such an important UN-water event. As a facilitator of benchmarking and improvement activities, EBC Foundation is open to share its experiences and collaborate with others in- and outside the water industry.
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