As part of the second phase of the BEWOP project, GWOPA and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, together with the Dutch Government (DGIS), launch the Green Utility Toolkit, a self-assessment strategic planning and monitoring tool for water and wastewater utilities that are interested and willing to improve their practices in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner.
BEWOP is a research and outreach initiative aimed at boosting the effectiveness of Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs) around the world. BEWOP identifies cross-cutting lessons that can be shared and produces a series of guidance tools that make WOPs easier and more effective. Two types of outputs feature in the second part of this initiative: Process Tools that support WOP participants prepare, design, implement and follow through with their WOPs; and Operational Tools that help in the transfer of knowledge on specific operational topics relevant for water utilities.
The Green Utility Toolkit - an Operational Tool - recognizes the pressures and difficulties faced by water service providers (WSP) to deliver coverage and adequate levels of services sustainably. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, what can water service providers do? How are they to respond to these various pressures? And, can becoming ‘green’ support them in engaging and solving these complex issues?
This tool aims to present the driving factors that have led WSP to incorporate environmental consideration, and from here offer the foundations for a conceptual framework to assess a Green Utility in the water service sector. Taking into account the activities of water utilities, three foundations for a Green Utility are proposed: Green ‘turn-over’, Pathways, and Current Practices. These three foundations can serve as a guide in identifying, prioritizing, and implementing green changes for water service providers. The toolkit invites Water Utilities to discuss the benefits and challenges for maturing into a Green Utility. Finally, a planning and monitoring framework is presented to facilitate WSP interested in beginning or continuing to advance their greening process.
Green Utility Toolkit Workshop in Bogota, Colombia
Overall, the Green Utility Toolkit aims to improve a Water Utility's performance in terms of long-term sustainability and increased efficiency, while fostering resilience through incorporating the natural environment and their communities in their operations.
The tool contains seven steps that lead water utilities’ staff and other stakeholders to define:
- What being a Green Utility means for them,
- How they intend to measure its performance,
- Where they envision their utility in the future, and
- How they plan to get there.
By doing so, expectations, definitions and plans are made explicit and can be built upon.
This tool is the first to be featured within a series covering the following topics:
- Non-Revenue Water reduction and management
- Asset management
- Water utility management
- Water Safety Plans
- Financial sustainability of pre-paid meters for service extension in low-income areas
- Developing quality control handbooks for water and wastewater treatment
- Water quality monitoring
- Diagnostic tools for selection of improvement working areas in WOPs
- Mentoring for operational staff
- WOP Partnership Management – planning, monitoring, communication and reporting
- How to WOP guide and other associated tools
Please visit the GWOPA Library to download the Green Utility Toolkit.