Customer satisfaction and service care are every day pushing professionals in the water industry to seek to improve their performance, lowering costs and increasing the provided service level. Process Benchmarking is generally recognised as a systematic mechanism of comparing one's own utility with other utilities or businesses with the intent of self-improvement by adopting structures or methods used elsewhere. The IWA Task Force on Benchmarking, operating inside the Statistics and Economics Committee, has been committed to developing a general accepted concept of Process Benchmarking to support water decision-makers in addressing issues of efficiency.

In a first step the Task Force disseminated among the Committee members a questionnaire focused on providing suggestions about the kind, the evolution degree and the main concepts of Benchmarking adopted in the represented Countries. A comparison among the guidelines adopted in The Netherlands and Scandinavia has recently challenged the Task Force in drafting a methodology for a worldwide process benchmarking in water industry.

The paper provides a framework of the most interesting benchmarking experiences in the water sector and describes in detail both the final results of the survey and the methodology focused on identification of possible improvement areas.

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