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  • Writer's pictureLinda Paralez

Performance Benchmarking for Effective Utility Management for Water and Wastewater Utilities

Updated: Apr 18, 2020


📷Client: Water Research Foundation, US EPA Office of Water, AWWA, WEF, APWA, NACWA, NAWC, AMWA

Demarche Consulting Group, Inc. has supported the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water, in collaboration with six national water sector associations, to define and promote the “Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities.” EPA and the associations’ efforts began with defining a water sector strategy to promote greater adoption of effective management systems and other best practices by water and wastewater utilities. Previous work by the associations has defined specific attributes of effectively managed utilities and related critical success factors, documented existing resources and programs, and identified barriers to implementation. The result was an outline that included the major components of a sector-wide strategy called Effective Water Utility Management (or EUM), including the “Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities” (“Attributes”). To promote the Attributes, the agencies prepared the “Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities” document ( This primer describes the Attributes, articulates five “Keys to Management Success,” provides a self-assessment method for identifying management areas for priority attention, and provides a cohesive set of targeted, generally applicable, measures that individual utilities can use to monitor and measure their performance. EUM remains a high-profile EPA initiative with continuing emphasis placed on promoting the ten attributes and better enabling utilities to improve management across them. 

Demarche Consulting Group, Inc. supported WaterRF benchmarking project 4313, which:

  • Identified key metrics and potential target values associated with best practices for each of the 10 Attributes

  • Developed a benchmarking framework and assessment methodology

  • Developed a supporting benchmarking tool

  • Pilot tested framework, assessment methodology and tool across an appropriate cross-section of utilities

  • Communicated results to stakeholders

  • Engaged six Advisory Associations as Advisory Team to ensure alignment with original vision for EUM initiative

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