THE Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA) successfully launched the 2012 edition of the Pacific Water and Wastewater Utilities benchmarking report in Samoa on May 14 this year.
The report was released with the support of the Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Centre (PIAC).
This second benchmarking report was funded by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility and its partners, which include the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australia, New Zealand, the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and European Investment Bank.
The report states that the 22 water utilities that participated in last year's benchmarking survey are supplying water to some 1.8 million people and provide wastewater services to about half a million people.
According to the report, PWWA commenced a process of baseline data collection and benchmarking of its members in 2009.
"The indicators used and agreed to by PWWA members was included in the PWWA's strategic plan, which later formed the basis for the core set of indicators adopted in the 2011 benchmarking study," the report stated.
The 2012 benchmarking report is a continuation of the 2011 approach with some adjustments modelled on lessons learnt from the benchmarking exercise in 2011.
The 2012 PWWA report compares the performance development of the water utilities with the 2011 findings.
According to the report, the 2012 benchmarking provides data insight to all stakeholders with the overall goal of helping water utilities improve their performance and contribute to improved service delivery in the water and sewerage sector.
PWWA executive director Latu Kupa said Pacific water utilities were making good progress with improving service delivery, but this report showed that further improvement was needed.
The utilities were benchmarked across six key result areas.
The result areas are production, water availability, customer satisfaction, operational performance, human resources, health and environment and financial performance.
According to the report, the water utilities have shown improvements in the coverage of sewerage, drinking water quality, percentage of customers supplied with treated water, amount of sewerage treated to at least primary standard, volumes of water production and water consumption, coverage of metered connections, and collection ratio of billed water.
The report rated Pohnpei Utilities Corporation in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) the best performing Pacific water utility of the year.
Water Authority of Fiji was rated the best wastewater and sanitation utility, Samoa Water Authority was rated the best human resources management performing utility while Water PNG received the best customer service performing utility award and Tonga Water Board, the best financial performer.
Based on the positive feedback from the 22 water utilities, the PWWA has adopted a strategy for continued water utility benchmarking in the Pacific region.