Structural conditions in German water supply

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Against the background of price controls for drinking water supply utilities in Germany, the comparability of utilities with regard to their specific structural conditions comes into focus. Relevant structural conditions were identified for the two main technical processes, namely water production (WP) and treatment, storage and distribution (TSD). A defined clustering process for comparable utilities has been developed. At the end of the process, groups of comparable utilities are obtained including information to what extent and in which structural condition these utilities are similar. These sets of relevant structural conditions and the clustering process were verified in a data assessment study with 45 German utilities. Applying the clustering process to the sample, WP and TSD peer groups of a certain utility are obtained, where structural similarities are above a certain threshold value. Performance and cost indicators of comparable utilities have been evaluated, providing interesting data on general performance levels and spread among individual utilities. The survey underlines the high standard of German water supply in terms of reliability, quality, customer service, sustainability and economic efficiency.

Keywords: context information, performance indicator, price comparison, structural conditions, water supply

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