AquaRating is a rating system, developed by the IDB in cooperation with the IWA, to assess the performance of water and sanitation service providers in a comprehensive way. AquaRating tackles the issue of the lack of common standard for assessing WS utility performance over the variety of relevant evaluation criteria, like accessibility, quality, efficiency, sustainability, and transparency, by setting a comprehensive and objective standard for assessing utilities’ performance. Apart from providing an overall rating of the utility, the system will offer detailed assessment for each rating area, assessment of the reliability of the information provided, and recommendations to improve management practices. 

Content Table

Rating Areas and Assessment Methodology

AquaRating will rate utility performance by assessing eight areas:

  1. Access to services
  2. Quality of services,
  3. Operational efficiency 
  4. Planning & investment efficiency
  5. Management efficiency
  6. Financial sustainability, 
  7. Environmental sustainability
  8. Corporate governance & accountability. 

To measure the performance in these areas the system considers both quantitative performance indicators, such as "discontinuity of the water service measured in hours of service interruption per connection per year", and qualitative measures that assess whether good management practices are applied or not, for example "the availability of a call center that receives customer complaints and queries 24 hours a day".

After that, the values of the performance indicators and measures is converted to a rating scale from 1 to 100, the former corresponding to a very poor and the latter to an excellent performance. The scale is also related to the reliability on the information provided, so if there is any lack of reliability the rating will affected.


Benefits for Utilities

  • AquaRating allows the utilities to obtain an external and credible performance rating, which contributes to foster the overall reputation and the acceptance by key stakeholders, which allows an access to new markets and finance and attracts qualified staff.
  • It also allows the utility to identify areas of improvement and to receive recommendations on how to tackle such areas.
  • The utilities get access to a knowledge and assessment framework that fosters continuous learning which reflects in an improvement process and performance

Benefits for Development Agencies and Development Banks

  • Development Agencies and Development Banks can use AquaRating to stimulate utilities to maintain or improve their performance and in that way target technical assistance, incentives and finance according to performance.
  • AquaRating is a standard tool that allows structuring cooperation with utilities, establish baseline performances and monitor development.
  • Reduces effort in project development and due diligence.

Benefits for Governments and Regulators

  • Evaluate utilities and monitor them over time.
  • This evaluation also allows the comparison to global best practice.

Benefits for Consumers

  • Obtain better services in terms of quality, efficiency, sustainability and transparency.
  • Consumers can use the system to stimulate utilities to maintain or improve their performance.


AquaRating official website

Related Publications

Water Services Management and Governance - Tapio Katko, Petri S. Juuti, and Klaas Schwartz
 Publication Date: Oct 2012 - ISBN - 9781780400228

Compendium of Best Practices in Asset Management - J. N. Bhagwan
 Publication Date: Oct 2012 - ISBN - 9781780404622

Benchmarking Water Services - Enrique Cabrera Jr., Peter Dane, Scott Haskins, Heimo Theuretzbacher-Fritz 
Publication Date: Mar 2011 - ISBN - 9781843391982

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