The European Union supported capacity building to Improve Water Supply Services in the Cross-border area of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro

The advantages of using the information obtained in the process of comparison, the so-called benchmarking, have been confirmed many times, especially in the context of increasing the efficiency of business entities. Water supply is one of the areas where benchmarking can be used as an effective tool to improve the performance of water companies. This was recognized by the Center for Energy, Environment and Resources – CENER 21 from Sarajevo and the Center for Energy Efficiency from Podgorica, which within the project “Action to increase energy and water efficiency of water supply services”, and with the financial support of the European Union, organized the second of three conferences aimed at building the capacity of actors involved in the water supply activities in their ongoing efforts to improve their services.

During the two-day conference, which was held on May 27th and May 28th 2021, 12 lecturers from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia shared their knowledge and experiences with over 100 participants from public water companies, local governments, ministries of water management, energy and environmental protection and other relevant institutions and organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Participants had the opportunity to hear about the benefits of using information obtained in the benchmarking process to create sustainable policies, and the application of indicators and benchmarking in the context of meeting the requirements of international financial institutions, while through practical examples and case studies, they had the opportunity to see how benchmarking indicates priority areas where improvement is needed.

By incorporating indicators and benchmarking into the pricing of water services and recording these data, in the future will carry a financial component, which will be an additional incentive for service providers to work on improving business efficiency. Much attention is paid to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution prevention and resource efficiency, the impact of which is also measured by performance indicators.

It was concluded that by recording data and calculating key performance indicators on a monthly basis, it is possible to implement corrective measures in a timely manner. In order to achieve this, the first prerequisite is a strong organizational commitment to continuous business improvement, possession of measuring equipment and regular monitoring of relevant quantities.

With the slogan „Every drop and kilowatt are important“, the European Union has financially supported the implementation of this project to achieve long-term resource efficiency in the water supply sector, which seeks to strengthen sustainable development in over 70 municipalities and cities in the cross-border area of BiH and Montenegro. It is implemented jointly from December 1, 2019, by the Center for Energy, Environment, and Resources – CENER 21 from Sarajevo (BiH), and the Center for Energy Efficiency from Podgorica (Montenegro) and will last for 24 months. The total budget of the project is over 305,000 euros, of which the European Union provided 259,603.82 euros in grants.