Improved water utilities with AquaRating in Honduras
Water utility of Puerto Cortes has mapped out an automation process, is working on improvement plans to better serve consumers and is exploring potential financing streams.
According to a recent evaluation, these outcomes underline the progress made by Empresa Aguas de Puerto Cortes through the implementation of the AquaRating performance measurement system.
First in Honduras
In July 2019, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recruited the technical services of Dutch non-for-profit organisation SNV to carry out the first-ever application of the AquaRating system in a water company in Honduras.
Recently, a seven-month evaluation was carried out by SNV, showing that the engagement with the AquaRating system had provided Empressa Aguas de Puerto Cortes insight into its performance and the suggested steps to take to deliver a quality service in today’s times.
AquaRating has been developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with the International Water Association (IWA). The system provides an international standard of measurement that examines the management and quality of services delivered by companies that operate in the water and sanitation industry.
In the case of Honduras, SNV’s application of AquaRating provided the utility company with data that:
- Identified current strengths and bottlenecks in its water and sanitation service value chain,
- Encouraged innovation, learning and a rethink of its management and service arrangements, and
- Prompted practical changes within its service value chain and management arrangements to provide a better service to consumers.
Full process automation
The evaluation showed that Empresa Aguas de Puerto Cortes gained awareness on the importance of digitising its internal management and service delivery processes. By consequence, it mapped out the process of transitioning to full automation. Goals have been set and work improvement plans have been drawn up for the short-, mid- and long-term.
Budgets and potential financing streams to facilitate the realisation of these plans are already being explored. Equally as important, the utility now has access to internationally recognised performance and service delivery standards and the know-how to objectively evaluate the company’s management of their drinking water and sanitation services.
One example is the development of a plan to redress water loss.
Process coordinator for AquaRating, Ana Gabriela Castejon Hernández commented on the evaluation. ‘We learned to objectively evaluate the provision of drinking water and sanitation services through indicators and good practices at the international level.’
Hernandez: ‘With this, we were able to create a baseline and identify opportunities for improvement. One key success that emerged was a strong commitment by the entire group to continue collaborating with SNV as interlocutor with the AquaRating team.’
What is AquaRating?
AquaRating assesses water and sanitation services providers according to three dimensions: performance indicators, best practices and information quality. The system gives a detailed evaluation across eight key areas, which are validated through an independent auditing process.
As a standard, AquaRating sets the baseline for utilities to monitor their performance and plan for improvements.
AquaRating has been jointly developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Water Association (IWA).