Lisbon 2014: Benchmarking and Performance Assessment content

The upcoming World Water Congress in Lisbon will have plenty of contents related to Benchmarking and Performance Assessment. Here are a few of the highlights that should not be missed.

Workshop: Performance Assessment & Benchmarking – Learning from Best Practices – Room Auditorium 4– Wednesday 10:30 – 12:00
An industry led 90 minutes workshop has been organized on the topic giving title to our specialist group. Although the SG has had no direct involvement in the organization of the event, the subject covered is of direct interest for most of us.

Session: “Right Price, Best Performance”. Room Auditorium 4 – 13:30 – 15:00

Following the workshop on performance assessment and benchmarking, the same room will host after the lunch break a session in which three of the papers seem to have a significant performance assessment content.


Regulation of water services will be a cornerstone topic in the World Water Congress. A Regulators forum will be held on Monday, a session called “Is Regulation Improving Water Services?” will take place on Room 1.07 on Tuesday and several platform presentations on the topic can be found in the program. Although performance assessment and benchmarking is only a part of regulating water services, the topic will surely interest many of our members.



The new rating system for water and wastewater services to be operated by IWA will have a significant presence in Lisbon. Users will be able to try the system hands-on at the AquaRating stand in the Exhibition area and several presentations will be made throughout the Congress. Please check all AquaRating contents schedule at the stand.

Lisbon 2014: Joint meeting with the Efficient Urban Water Management Specialist. Focus on Water Efficiency Metrics

One of the positive consequences of having a joint conference in Cincinnati with the Efficient Specialist Group, is the possibility of developing common work with other IWA professionals which are not regular attendants to our meetings.

For the Cincinnati conference, the management of both groups have identified the possibility of developing metrics to assess water efficiency. A workshop on the topic will be held in Cincinnati, and a preliminary meeting to organize such workshop will be held in Lisbon.

water efficiency

The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 25 at 13:30-15:00 in Room 0.07.

Specialist Group Meeting in Lisbon 2014

The Specialist Group open meeting for 2014 will take place, as always during a congress year, at the World Water Congress in Lisbon. More precisely on Wednesday September 24th from 13:30 to 15:00 in ROOM 0.06.

lisbonThis is the proposed agenda for the meeting:


  1. Welcome address and apologies
  2. Approval of agenda
  3. Approval of minutes of the Medellin meeting
  4. Pi2015 – Report and update of progress
  5. Joint workshop with the Efficient SG in Pi2015
  6. Pi2017 Conference
  7. Current status of the manuals of best practice
  8. Chair person and Management Committee Elections
  9. Next SG meeting (Cincinnati)
  10. Any other matters

All Specialist Group members are kindly invited to attend this meeting.

Elections in the BPA Specialist Group

After 4 years since it was created, the Benchmarking and Performance Assessment Specialist Group will hold its first elections for its management positions on September 24th, at 13:30 hours, during the World Water Congress next September in Lisbon.

voting urn

As approved by the Specialist Group in 2013, these are the conditions for all eligible candidates:


  • Candidates to be previous or current Management Committee members
  • Candidates to be nominated by at least 2 current or past Management
  • Committee members
  • –  Chairperson may appoint a vice-chair and a secretary
  • –  All SG members can vote at the SG meeting in the World Congress
  • –  Nomination process will be opened on August 24th until September 15th

Management Committee

  • Up to 5 SG members can be part of the Management Committee
  • Nomination process will be opened on August 24th until September 15th
  • Management Committee will appoint new members to be confirmed by the SG.

The MC is formed by the current SG Chair and Secretary, the past SG chairs, up to 5 SG members from an open call for candidates among all SG members and up to 3 Chairs of other IWA SG groups, members of the BPA SG, with common interests with the BPA SG and with reciprocity –with the BPA chair being MC member in those groups)

Nominations should be sent to

Group continues to grow in members for third year in a row

Since IWA’s Benchmarking and Performance Assessment (BPA) Specialist Group (SG) first started back in the year 2010, the interest of IWA members for the group has done nothing but grow. The numbers speak for themselves. Back then, the group had 91 members. Today, that amount has multiplied by more than 6, with almost 600 members, according to the IWA 2013 membership report on the matter. Needless to say, this growing figures are without a doubt the best news that the group could receive to boost its ongoing effort to improve water utilities’ management through benchmarking and performance assessment.

SG Members Historical Distribution (members vs. year). The line shows the number of Young Water Professionals.

Further conclusions can be drawn from taking a closer look at the numbers:

  • The group shares more than 58% of its members with IWA’s Efficient Urban Water Management Specialist Group, a relationship that will sure lead to future collaboration between both SGs. In fact, the possibility of organizing events alongside is a very interesting thought that will sure drive members of both groups to participate more actively on IWA and create synergies among them. The 55% of members shared with the Sustainability in the Water Sector SG and the 48% with the Strategic Asset Management SG are also worth mentioning.
  • When viewed from the opposite perspective – that is, how many members from other groups are also members of the BPA SG – the Water Loss and Strategic Asset Management SGs clearly lead the way, with more than 30% of its members belonging to the BPA SG, meaning that almost a third of their members also attach importance to our SG.
  • Over 20% of the members of the group are Young Water Professionals (YWP), meaning that more than a fifth part of the group is formed by water professionals whose age is less than 35. This number shows an upward trend.

All being said, it is true that numbers are nothing but numbers, but it is even more certain that a more than exciting future lays ahead for the Benchmarking and Performance Assessment Specialist Group.


IWA Specialist Groups to meet in Valencia

The IWA Benchmarking and Performance Assessment Specialist Group will take part in the IWA Specialist Groups Leaders Forum to be held in Valencia next week (November 7th and 8th) with the topic “Empowering SGs”.

The meeting, which will take place at the Universitat Politècnica de València, will feature the presence a majority of the Specialist Group leader that will have a unique face-to-face opportunity for to communicate with each other and with IWA Secretariat, as well as discuss issues relating to SG activities, IWA strategies and linkage with all other IWA vehicles.

Enrique Cabrera (chair of the Benchmarking and Performance Assessment SG) and Ricardo Cobacho (secretary of the Efficient Urban Water Management SG) will be the local hosts of the meeting which will be chaired by Jean-Luc Bertrand-Krajewski and attended by the IWA Executive Director Ger Bergkamp.


Valencia will host the IWA Specialist Groups Leaders Forum

Valencia will host the IWA Specialist Groups Leaders Forum

Busan 2012 minutes posted at IWA website

The minutes of the last meeting of the Specialist Group held in Busan, during the World Water Congress of 2012 can already be downloaded from our IWA group web page “SG Resources” under highlight information (you will be required to login to access this content).

As you may already be aware, the members-only information will be posted in the IWA group web page, while the rest of news, activities and public information for the Specialist Group will be published in this website.


Upcoming SG meeting in Medellin

Next month, we will have our annual Specialist Group meeting in Medellín, Colombia, during the Pi2013 conference. If you are a member of our group but have never attended our meetings, please join us to learn about our activities, meet us and propose new initiatives. We are always happy to meet colleagues from our group.

The BPA SG will meet on wednesday april 10th at 18:00, right at the end of the sessions. This is the draft agenda for that meeting:
BPA SG meeting – April 10th Medellin, Colombia

1. Welcome to members and apologies
2. Approval of Agenda
3. Approval of minutes for the Busan meeting
4. Report on the Smart Network Cluster meeting in Lisbon
5. Current status of the manuals of best practice
6. Procedure for election of SG officials
7. Pi2015. Concept and venue
8. Next meeting (Lisbon)
9. Any other matters

Submit your paper to Pi2013 – 5th IWA International Conference on Benchmarking and Performance Assessment of Urban Water Services

Pi2013, the 5th edition of the IWA International Conference on Benchmarking and Performance Assessment of Urban Water Services, will be held in Medellín, Colombia, from April 9th to 12th, 2013. The local organizers, Empresas Públicas de Medellín are making a great effort to organize a great event in the first visit of the Pi series to Latin America. The call for papers has already been published in the conference website and you can already submit your paper proposal in the same website.

Pi2013 will be once again host to many of the world’s especialists on performance assessment and benchmarking. In addition, the conference will witness the official presentation of AquaRating, a new rating system for water and sanitation providers developed by the Inter-American Development Bank

Medellín, the host city, has undergone a great change in the past decades and is now an example worldwide on how culture and social involvement can change the face of a city. The conference will be held in a modern venue with high standard facilities and delegates will also have the chance to enjoy a beautiful city in a wonderful weather. The chance of making the use of this opportunity to visit other Colombian cities like Cartagena de Indias should not be discarded lightly.

The Benchmarking and Performance Assessment SG is making considerable efforts to increase the participation from low and medium income countries. Pi2013 will be a great opportunity for regional experts to share experiences with international colleagues and continue to contribute to the region’s development.

We encourage you to prepare a proposal and submit an abstract at the conference website. And we hope to meet you in Medellín next spring.

  • Pi2013
  • Medellín, Colombia – April 9th-12th, 2013
  • Deadline for abstract submission: December 30th, 2013

Conference topics

  • Benchmarking and performance assessment projects. Definition and establishment of performance assessment systems.
  • Decision support tools based on performance indicators.
  • Regulatory tools.
  • Benchmarking as a tool for multilateral agencies.
  • Experiences in low and medium income countries.
  • Managing service contracts with performance indicators.
  • Standardization and performance indicators.
  • Performance improvement – methodologies and experiences.
  • Benchmarking for water and sanitation services provision to the urban poor.
  • Data collection, data quality improvement and data boot-strapping.
  • Performance assessment and improvement of small water service providers.
  • The use of performance measures and benchmarking to support utility improvement.
  • Performance measures to support infrastructure asset management, business processes, customer service and organizational performance.


Welcome to the official site of the IWA Benchmarking and Performance Assessment of Urban Water Services Specialist Group.

The BPA SG is the forum for discussing, promoting, create networking opportunities and improving the state of the art in all activities related to the performance assessment and benchmarking of water services.

The topics covered by the group include performance indicators systems and the comparison of indicators, as well as benchmarking and performance improvement. Group members include practitioners, academics, regulators and consultants

The group is open to IWA members and always welcomes new members. Water utilities, associations, regulators and international bodies are welcome to use the group as a networking tool and a meeting environment to develop and extend their performance assessment and benchmarking efforts.

The BPA SG is in charge of the Pi Conference series (on benchmarking and performance assessment). The group meets at least once every year (in the IWA World Congresses or the Pi Conference of the alternate year). Pi2013 will be held in spring 2013 in Medellin (Colombia).