Earth Tech has been successfully benchmarking Canadian municipal water, wastewater and stormwater utility operations since 1997. While the fundamental purpose of this project was metric benchmarking for the purpose of making performance comparisons to guide continuous improvement, the project is now serving as a dynamic platform to consider, examine, and implement a broad range of utility best practices that have resulted in superior performance where they have been implemented. The keys to success, however, were based more on a process that emphasizes communication, teamwork, and collaboration rather than the trend to push computerized data management systems to their fullest potential, and most importantly, in recognizing the importance of ‘hard work’. With these success factors now well understood and documented, it is feasible to benchmark almost any public infrastructure amongst agencies that are willing, regardless of their level of technological development. Finally, by sharing this methodology, the performance measure descriptions and detailed definitions, it is also feasible to make international comparisons in a simple and cost effective manner, thus opening the door to the broad exchange of international best practices.

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