The use of indicators today in the water, wastewater and solid waste sectors varies a lot both in extent, level of detail and how they are used. PI may be used to measure progress towards achieving corporate objectives and targets, promote accountability to the public and other stakeholders, to study performance development for internal improvement, compare performance to identify opportunities for improvement in comparison with other organisations (benchmarking) or promote service improvement by publishing service levels. PIs are also very useful to measure improvements and to identify problems, improvement areas and effects of performed actions. Some of these aspects motivated the initiation of the COST Action C18, others have been uncovered during the cause of this action.
This report provides an overview of the findings of the COST Action C18: Performance assessment of urban infrastructure services: the case of water supply, wastewater and solid waste.
The action was approved and officially started in March 2004 and completed in March 2008. The action was structured in 3 working groups:
WG 1 Development of PI interpretation mechanisms within water and wastewater
WG 2 Promotion of PI synergies with existing decision support tools within water and wastewater
WG 3 Extension of PI use to solid waste services
The main objectives of the COST action were:
•to increase the knowledge and to promote the use of effective, scientifically robust and well devised methodologies for decision-making, based on the use of performance indicators for urban infrastructure services,
•to encourage utilities to use them as routine management tools.