The Benchmarking Program

Benchmarking utility performance indicators is an essential element of continuous improvement, allowing utilities to track their own performance and to compare their results to peers to identify areas that could be strengthened. 

The AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program provides objective performance measures for utility leaders to track their organizational performance. See the complete list of indicators.

Participation in the 2019 survey period is currently closed, and the utility data is being reviewed. Data results will be available in Fall 2019. To participate in the next annual survey opening in January 2020, please email, or check back here for additional announcements. 




Participation in the AWWA Utility Benchmarking program provides an opportunity to identify areas for improvement, establish priorities, and collect data needed to implement necessary changes. Survey results can be used as a communication tool to demonstrate achievements to customers and policymakers.

Participating utilities will receive:

  • A free, individualized participant report that showcases your utility's confidential results relative to the aggregated results of utilities providing the same services (excerpt from an example report)
  • 30% off the final publication (in addition to a member discount)

Thank you in advance for your participation! Please contact AWWA Benchmarking with any questions. 

Already a Benchmarking Program User?

Please ensure you are logged into the AWWA website, using the Login/Register button at the upper-right hand corner of the screen.



Are You New to the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program?

New Benchmarking Program participants can request access through the following key steps to establish a Utility Login: 

  1. Verify your individual login,  If you do not already have a login, please create one. Use Log in/Register button at upper-right hand corner of and ensure connected to your Utility.
  2. Identify key roles for Benchmarking Program contact
    1. Point of Contact (POC): (required) Responsible for assigning contributor access, managing data collection, and submitting final report. POC will have the ability to print individual participant reports. One POC can be designated per utility.
    2. Contributors: (optional) Assigned by POC to collect data, enter data, and review specific sections for completion. Multiple contributors from each utility can be assigned. All contributors must also have an AWWA login. Contributors access will not be complete until POC has assigned survey sections.
  3. Request Access: Complete a request by sending Utility Name and Point of Contact (POC) to AWWA Benchmarking. Staff will ensure utility access is completed and a confirmation email will be sent as soon as possible.

Data You Will Need to Participate in the Benchmarking Survey

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: 

  • Water Stats
  • Wastewater Stats 
  • Staffing
  • Organizational Development
  • Financial Information
  • Billing
  • Call Center
  • Customer Service 
  • Service Disruptions
  • Maintenance
  • Energy Consumption
  • Water Supply Planning
  • Wastewater Operations
  • Stakeholder outreach 
  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Sustainability

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 2019 participants.

Hundreds of utilities have participated in the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey over the past ten years, and have found benefit from participating year after year. See a few testimonials below. In addition, detailed case studies developed through a 2017 research project exploring the benefits of Benchmarking, are provided. See how five outstanding utilities have benefited from participating in the AWWA Utility Benchmarking Survey, have established goals, and utilized their data results to track continuous improvement.

Read Case Studies


“Active use of AWWA’s performance metrics and its annual survey have assisted us with ‘customer conversations’ as well as important linkages to EUM, strategic planning, and utility process improvements.”  
- Frank Roth, Senior Policy Manager, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

“CWS continues our quality journey using AWWA Utility Benchmarking to set targets and measure results for our customers and community benefit.”  
- Ken Hill, CEO Charleston Water Systems

“Columbus Water Works defined performance metrics to measure progress on strategic goals, and AWWA Utility Benchmarks were used where applicable to track performance. CWW has participated in AWWA benchmarking since its inception and regularly uses this data to track progress and set performance targets.”  
- Gwendolyn Hargrove Ruff, Senior Vice, Columbus Water Works

“Our utility has benefited from AWWA Benchmarking by enabling comparison to peer utilities, providing a tool for evaluating utility performance year to year, informing selection of internal strategic outcome metrics, and highlighting the importance of monitoring performance.”  
- Sarah Neiderer, Strategic Planning Officer, DC Water



AWWA's 2018 AWWA Utility Benchmarking: Performance Management for Water and Wastewater publication is made possible by AWWA Utility Benchmarking Program Participants. 

It allows utility managers to use data and analyses to determine how their utility’s performance compares to the water or wastewater industry. The report includes performance indicators for five areas of operations: Organizational Development, Customer Relations, Business Operations, Water Operations, and Wastewater Operations.

The 2018 publication includes 54 key performance indicators. 

Purchase the Publication