Effective Water Utility Management Practices
Effective utility management practices are the foundation for building and sustaining the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems that make up the water sector. Management practices must address all aspects of a system’s operations and maintenance.
- Effective Utility Management (EUM) Initiative – Attributes and Primer
- Additional Resources for EUM Initiative
- Lean Techniques for EUM
The EUM initiative takes a broad look at all aspects of water sector system sustainability, from product quality to customer satisfaction. It is supported through the collaboration of EPA and professional associations across the water sector. The initiative is based on:
- Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities
- Effective Utility Management Primer - Provides a common framework for water sector systems to assess their strengths and areas for improvement, set priorities, and measure progress through a process of continual improvement leading to long-term sustainability.
- Effective Utility Management Practices Roadmap - Moving Toward Sustainability: Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Own Water Utility Roadmap was developed to assist utility leaders in implementing proven and effective practices over time to improve their operations and move toward sustainability, at a pace consistent with their needs and the needs of their communities.
- Effective Utility Management Case Examples – These case examples inform utilities about how their peer water service providers have integrated EUM into their day-to-day operations and future planning initiatives.
- Taking the Next Step: Findings of the Effective Utility Management Review Steering Group - This report was done by the Steering Group for the EUM collaborating organizations and presents the findings of its review of the current EUM Attributes. The Steering Group identified key areas of change in the water sector since 2007.
- Moving Toward Sustainability: Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Own Water Utility Roadmap - This document builds on the EUM framework. It provides utilities of various sizes with a series of proven and effective practices to help achieve the outcomes in EUM. This document supplements the EUM approach and was developed with input from utility managers across the country.
- EPA held several webinars to highlight the efforts of leading utilities to implement “Roadmap” practices:
- Moving Toward Sustainability Webinar 1 (Community Sustainability)
- Moving Toward Sustainability Webinar 2 (Operational Resiliency)
- Moving Toward Sustainability Webinar 3 Stakeholder Understanding and Support)
- From Aspirational to Operational: Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Water Utility Roadmap
Another set of tools help demonstrate the use of "Lean" management techniques. Lean is a business improvement approach focused on eliminating non-value added activity or "waste" using practical, implementation-based methods. Lean can help utilities achieve the outcomes embodied in the EUM Attributes.
- Resource Guide to Effective Utility Management and Lean - This guide is based on input and examples from several utilities involved in both EUM and Lean. The guide explains how these two complementary approaches can be used by utilities to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.
- Effective Utility Management and Lean at Water-Sector Utilities - This series of EPA webinars demonstrates how Effective Utility Management and Lean techniques can be used by water-sector utilities.