Benchmarking utility performance indicators are an essential element of continuous improvement, allowing utilities to track their own performance, compare their results to peers, and identify areas that could be strengthened or improved.
The AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program provides objective performance measures for utility leaders to track their organizational performance. Review the complete list of performance indicators.
If your utility is interested in participating in the 2023 Utility Benchmarking Survey, please review information below on How To Participate.
If you need any additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about AWWA Benchmarking (VIDEO)
2022 AWWA Utility Benchmarking Publication now available in:
Thank you to all our participants
Follow the link to access the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program:
Login to Benchmarking Survey
Log in using your awwa.org credentials. You will be redirected to the Benchmarking data collection portal. If you need to reset your AWWA password or forgot username for AWWA log-in, please visit www.awwa.org; access MY Account in upper right-hand corner and follow steps to reset.
If you wish to participate in the current AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey, you will need two items:
Decision-makers interested in improving performance should begin by determining which measures are most relevant to their utility and complete the corresponding data collection sections. Utility contacts will input into the online platform their fiscal year performance data based on a series of utility operations questions. Not all sections are required to be completed to participate in the AWWA Utility Benchmarking program, however, we encourage utilities to provide as many data points as possible.
All individual utility data is kept confidential. Only aggregated quartile ranges are reported in the Participant Report as well as Final Publication.
Utility data is collected in the following Benchmarking Survey sections:
Following submission of performance data, relevant reports are posted to the Utility's online dashboard.
See the complete list of Performance Indicators that will be reported for 2022 participants.
AWWA’s Utility Benchmarking Program is a valuable tool for utilities of all sizes to track their performance to identify areas for improvements. Responding to the complete list of more than 110 individual metrics, and resulting 58 performance indicators, can be time-consuming for small systems or new participating utilities. Therefore, the following list was identified as an abbreviated set of performance measures to focus utility’s efforts and serve as a starting point for participation.
The KEY UTILITY MEASURES represent those performance indicators tracked by a well-run utility. Provide performance data for the highlighted survey questions (-- Key Utility Measure –) to participate in this subset of data. Additional guidance is provided in the User Instructions document.
Likewise, new utility participants can opt to start with the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program by completing the KEY UTILITY MEASURES during their initial year of participation, with the goal of adding more performance measures in subsequent years of participation.
The list was developed in coordination with the AWWA Benchmarking Advisory Committee and subject to change as needed for alignment with the complete AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey.
If you work for a water, wastewater, or combined utility that may be interested in participating in future benchmarking efforts, please contact AWWA at email@example.com for questions on the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program.
Stephanie Passarelli, PE
Utility Benchmarking Program Manager
Linkage Between Utility Benchmarking and Effective Utility Management
Effective Utility Management (EUM) provides a framework based on the Ten Attributes and Five Keys to Management Success as shown in the figure below. The EUM framework helps utility executives, governing boards, and policymakers improve performance through planning, measurement, monitoring, and implementation using the framework provided by the Ten Attributes. Utilities can use EUM principles and the results of the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey (UBS) to pinpoint areas for improvement, establish priorities, and implement necessary changes. By participating in the Benchmarking survey, utilities can track their performance now to set realistic targets for the future.
One of the five Keys to Management Success, Measurement is critical to improvement efforts highlighted in the AWWA Benchmarking Survey as it focuses attention on key issues, clarifies expectations, facilitates decision-making, establishes and maintains accountability, and facilitates effective communications to all stakeholders. Likewise, benchmarking is part of a continuous improvement process to advance utility management capabilities and accountability with all stakeholders which is aligned to a second key – Continual Improvement Management. By evaluating how a utility performs relative to the Ten Attributes, utility leaders will gain a more balanced and comprehensive picture of their organization.
To learn more about EUM and tie to Benchmarking review the EUM primer Effective Utility Management - A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities (2017) (https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2017-01/documents/eum_primer_final_508-january2017.pdf), and the EPA’s Effective Water Utility Management Practices (https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-water-infrastructure/effective-water-utility-management-practices).
The Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Utilities and Five Keys To Management Success
EUM and AWWA Utility Benchmarking have been connected for some time with the EUM Measures influenced by the original AWWA Benchmarking indicators. The current linkage is displayed in the table below showing the five core areas of the survey on the vertical axis and the 10 attributes on the horizontal axis.
Benefits of AWWA Benchmarking
AWWA Utility Management Standards
AWWA Connections Article
Opflow | JournalAWWA | AWWA Water Science
To read the full text, click on the article links below, then login following the “Login with AWWA” button. You must be a current member to read the full text.
Participation in the program survey let's your utility begin to track your utility's performance so you can set realistic targets for the future.
Survey Participants receive a free report that showcases your utility's performance on each performance indicator relative to the industry.
Get detailed information on all performance indicators and access historical trends. Participants save 30% on the full publication.
Hundreds of utilities have participated in the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey over the decade and have found benefit from yearly participation. Check out AWWA's report showcasing how five outstanding utilities have established goals, and utilized their benchmarking data results to track continuous improvement.
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