publication
Welcome | Toolkit on the Aggregation of Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities

World Bank Group

About the toolkit
  • Today, over 2 billion people live without safe drinking water. Our goal: build a better future by achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 that calls for universal access to a safe, efficient, and reliable water supply for all. Policy makers and practitioners around the world have looked at getting utility companies to work together as one way to help achieving it.
  • Building on a review of literature and an analysis of both qualitative and quantitative evidence, a global set of international trends, a utility performance database that covers 1,306 utilities from more than 140 countries, and a series of case studies - this toolkit aims to help understand when, why and how utility companies work together (“aggregate”) successfully.
  • Whether you are a World Bank Group staff member, a policymaker, a researcher, a practitioner, a citizen scientist, or just curious - engage with our original toolkit resources to advance your knowledge of how to design a successful aggregation process in the water sector depending on the specific context and purpose sought.

Join us as we equip the global WSS sector with data sets, tools, resources, and evidence-based guidance to the when, why, and how of aggregation processes.

Explore the interactive map and glossary of related definitions, highlighting global trends in utility aggregation; read the new World Bank report entitled “Joining Forces for Better Services? When, Why and How Water and Sanitation Utilities can Benefit from Working Together”; watch videos with first-hand interviews; and discover the purpose, context, and design of aggregation.

Click on the index quick links below to easily jump to toolkit sections, or continue scrolling to explore all our toolkit resources representing case studies from different countries with each their own WSS challenges and solutions: Hungary, Brazil, Colombia, Romania, Portugal, Mozambique, and Indonesia
 

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Explore the basic concepts of WSS utility aggregations 

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View road map to a successful aggregation

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Interact with the aggregation global trends: interactive map and glossary

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Read and better understand global case studies

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Watch case study videos with first-hand interviews

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Explore the supporting documents of the global study

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About the global study and toolkit

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What is aggregation? | The process by which two or more WSS service providers consolidate some or all of their activities under a shared organizational structure, whether it implies physical infrastructure interconnection or not, and whether the original service providers continue to exist or not.

The aggregation typology | The design of a successful aggregation should consider both the intended purpose and the context in which it takes place, and characterizes the design of an aggregation as a function of its scope, scale, process, and governance. The infographic below walks through the four design dimensions of WSS utility aggregation: scope, scale, process, and governance.

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Learn more about:
Context | Purpose | Scale | Scope | Process | Governance
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What is a successful aggregation? | One in which the aggregated service provider performs significantly better than the previously disaggregated entities with regard to the intended purpose, without unacceptable deterioration of other performance dimensions. Our successful aggregation guidance (Chapter 7 of report “Joining Forces for Better Services? When, Why and How Water and Sanitation Utilities can Benefit from Working Together”) is a sum of the lessons learned about successful aggregation based on the evidence gathered at the international level, through the statistical analysis and the 14 case studies.

Six key policy messages
| Dive into the six broad conclusions from the global study. They are listed here in no order of importance.  1. Aggregation is a policy option, not a panacea for all sector challenges. 2. Aggregations come in many different shapes and forms, depending on the local circumstances. 3. The design of a successful aggregation will depend on the intended purpose of the aggregation, as well as on the overall context in which it takes place. 4. In the developing world, aggregation is primarily a means to deliver better services rather than to lower costs. 5. Aggregation is a gradual, long-term process that requires strong stakeholder commitment. 6. Aggregations are most successful when accompanied by a broader sector reform addressing governance, financing, and regulatory issues at the sector level. Read the report to find out more about each of the six key policy messages. 


The road map | Explore the road to a successful aggregation that starts with the decision about whether aggregation is the proper policy instrument given the context and purpose intended, continuing to the design of a successful aggregation process and its implementation, and finally looking at how to sustain such success. There is much more information to be found about the stages of WSS utility aggregation in the global study. 

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The interactive map | Investigate an inventory of open data on the provision and aggregation of water and sanitation services worldwide, from public sources such as the Joint Monitoring Programme, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Bank databases. With data from over 110 countries representing over 88 percent of the world’s population, the interactive map visualizes global data to improve understanding of cases of  WSS utility aggregation.

The glossary of definitions | Discover aggregation-specific definitions in our glossary of definitions to ensure that you understand the terms, phrases, and words we use. The global study includes much more information about each of the stages discussed previously, and the road map below serves as an preview of the full content of the report.

Global Aggregation Trends

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" In this report, the team has really got to grips with the process of moving towards an aggregated arrangement. It doesn’t come saying aggregation is good or aggregation is bad. It comes saying, look, aggregation is one possible tool that a government can use, and helps people thinking through the issues for a successful aggregation process. "

Bill Kingdom

Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist in the Water Global Practice of the World Bank. During his career in the sector he has worked extensively in South and East Asia, the Middle East, UK, USA, and Canada.

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The 14 case studies
 | Explore 14 case studies spanning various geographies, development levels, sizes, and aggregation processes. These case studies provide you with an exclusive look into the WSS utility aggregation experiences through first-hand accounts about the critical decisions made and the perceived outcomes. If you don’t have time to read the full case studies, learn more about how WSS utility aggregation unfolded in Portugal, Brazil, and Romania by watching the short videos.

Brazil case studies
    •   Brazil - SISAR
    •   Brazil - COPANOR

Colombia case studies
    •   Colombia - Acueducto Regional La Linea
    •   Colombia - Mercado Regional del Atlántico - MERCA

Hungary case studies
    •   Hungary - Alfoldiz
    •   Hungary - Kiskun-viz

Indonesia case studies
    •   Indonesia - PDAM Tirtanadi
    •   Indonesia - PDAM Intan Banjar

Mozambique case studies
    •   Mozambique - Nampula, Nacala, and Pemba
    •   Mozambique - Chimoio, Gondola, Manica

Portugal case studies
    •   Portugal - Águas Públicas do Alentejo
    •   Portugal - Águas do Ribatejo

Romania case studies
    •   Romania - Brasov Water Company
    •   Romania - Raja Constanta

Download a .pdf of WSS Utility Aggregation Case Studies Map
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The videos | Hear directly from stakeholders involved in WSS utility aggregation through our engaging multimedia resources, including high definition videos and written interviews.

Watch the Brazil story | Ceará, Brazil – In the state of Ceará, in Brazil's northeast, extending water services in rural areas is a challenge. In 1996, the State Water and Sanitation Company (CAGECE) created the Integrated Rural Sanitation System (SISAR), an association of community-based service providers to improve the provision of WSS services.

Watch the Romania story | Constanța, Romania – In southeastern Romania, the Romanian water utility Raja Constanta gave credibility and leadership to WSS utilities aggregation. Witness accounts of the events associated with WSS utility aggregation, including overcoming political resistance, as well as the role of the European Union (EU).

Watch the Portugal story | Ribatejo, Portugal – In the Ribatejo region of Portugal, municipalities began discussing a possible aggregation within the framework of a public policy approved in 1993. Watch doubts and tensions overcome after two municipalities withdrew permanent political support after implementation of WSS utilities aggregation.

Coming Soon — Voices from the field through exclusive interviews
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" Utility aggregation must be part of an overall sector development strategy. It is a means to achieve improved service levels and operational efficiency. This must be clear and thus key performance indicators must be strictly monitored and managers must be accountable for any deviation. "

Nelson Beete

Served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fundo de Investimento e Património do Abstacimento de Água (FIPAG) from its inception in 1998 until 2011. FIPAG is a water supply funding arm in Mozambique with the role of assets holder.

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The statistical analysis | Delve into an analysis of data collected from over 1,306 global utilities in over 140 countries to understand that WSS aggregations are not only a story of economies of scale. Discover and share the findings of the statistical analysis to conduct your own research and enhance your own decision-making abilities.

The literature review | Find articles, books, and citations to continue your exploration of WSS utility aggregation. A brief description follows each citation, denoting the relevance of the publication to the global study on aggregation.  

The annotated bibliography and links to relevant literature | Access technical publications and examine different strands of literature to yield insights about what is known and how useful such knowledge can be for policy goals. 

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Context | Over hundreds of millions of people have gained access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities, but there is work yet to be done. It is critical to invest in water solutions that promote water security, improve endemic under performance of water utilities, and build climate resilient societies. Public water supply and sanitation (WSS) urban utilities in World Bank client countries often suffer from weak governance, poor commercial orientation and, in many cases, as having too small a scale for effective operation. As a result, many WSS utilities find themselves locked in a cycle of challenges such as low service coverage, high levels of non-revenue water, and insufficient funding for maintenance and expansion. In response to this challenge, an increasing number of countries and local governments are turning, with varying levels of success, to the aggregation of local WSS utility companies.

The global study | This toolkit is based on the findings of the new World Bank global study entitled, "Joining Forces for Better Services? When, Why, and How Water and Sanitation Utilities Can Benefit from Working Together". This toolkit forms part of the WSS Global Solutions Group’s agenda in water and sanitation utility turnaround.

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Thank you for exploring the toolkit.

If you're interested in learning more about our initiatives, please contact:
David Michaud at dmichaud@worldbank.org
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Read our feature story about the main report.

Join the WBG conversation now:
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Last Updated: Oct 31, 2017





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