Recently, many countries have started benchmarking studies with the aim of improving performance in their water sectors. To see regional differences in water supply, a cross-country comparison based on five benchmarking projects of Austria and different German federal states was done. It was verified that the influencing factors on costs are mainly related to regional and structural parameters, causing the crosscountry differences. Besides the age of the mains, urbanity is one of the major influencing factors on burst rates, leakage, and also on mains rehabilitation. The survey on the benefits of benchmarking suggests that it more than pays for itself. Most participants found opportunities to optimize operation and efficiency. No company stated higher costs than benefits. Benchmarking does not only optimize efficiency, but more importantly, quality, reliability and sustainability of supply services.

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