For several years, approximately 50 water and wastewater utilities across Canada have participated in the National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative (NWWBI). Every year, the participating utilities provide operational and financial data to AECOM, which compiles the data to provide benchmarking assistance to the utilities. In turn, utilities use the information to drive operational and financial changes.
In 2011, AECOM invited the EFC to present to the NWWBI utilities in Banff, Alberta on the Rates Dashboards: online, interactive data visualization tools that assist utility and local officials with analyzing financial performance and rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, and geography. The utilities voted to create a similar dashboard for the NWWBI Financial Sustainability Benchmarking group.
Screenshot of the main page of the National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative Financial Sustainability Dashboard, as of June 2013. This screenshot displays data for an “Example Utility”, not an actual utility participating in the NWWBI.
In 2012 and 2013, the EFC developed Canada’s NWWBI Financial Sustainability Dashboard, working closely with AECOM and using feedback from NWWBI utilities at two meetings in Quebec City, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2014 and 2015, the EFC updated the dashboard with the latest rates and financial data. The dashboard benchmarks the participating utilities’ rates, finances, affordability of rates, customer water use, and infrastructure condition against one another and against targets set by the utility. Financial performance trends are shown for the past three years, and utilities can edit their data and run scenarios of raising rates and changing average water use levels to observe their effects on the utility’s overall financial performance, rates and affordability.
Screenshot of the Financial Benchmarks tab of the National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative Financial Sustainability Dashboard, as of June 2013. This screenshot displays data for an “Example Utility”, not an actual utility participating in the NWWBI.
Utility managers and officials of NWWBI-participating utilities that provided data to AECOM in the latest iteration can use the dashboard to view their latest data, compare their performance against internal and external targets, make assessments, and inform their financial and operational decisions.
Because the NWWBI data are considered “commercial confidential”, only NWWBI participating utilities in Canada may access the active dashboard.
For information about Canada’s NWWBI and the Financial Sustainability Dashboard, please contact David Main at AECOM. For information about EFC’s role in developing the dashboard since 2012, contact Shadi Eskaf.