Water services management and environmental management systems: the role of the indicators for the assessment of environmental performance

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Water Services (WSs) are essential for communities. The continuous improvement of service quality and environmental performance are important targets to be achieved. Consequently, Water Service management should be aimed at efficacy, technical efficiency and costeffectiveness. In this context the adoption of an Environmental Management System (EMS) can play a key role. A soundly implemented EMS could help in the growth of effectiveness and efficiency of WSs and in the improvement of their environmental performance. Particularly, performance should be monitored trough measurements, and managed by indicators. Indicators and indices are among the best options to achieve a simple, understandable and efficient picture of the environmental performance. This paper shows the results of a project concerning the application of ISO 14001 standard in a Water Service context. Particularly, the paper illustrates: i) principles of a proposal methodology to standardize the process of identification of the environmental aspects and the related indicators necessary for their assessment; ii) an example of identification of aspects and indicators.

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