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Water Leaders Award: Shortlist

For the most dramatic performance improvement in a water utility in the developing world in 2017.

Shortlisted Nominees


Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos SA, Argentina

What is it?

Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos SA (AySA) provides drinking water and sewage collection services in the City of Buenos Aires and the surrounding area – one of the most densely populated regions in Latin America.

What has it done?

In 2017, AySA made significant strides towards dramatic increases in city-wide access to clean drinking water and sanitation, while adding environmental sustainability to the mix by restoring the health of local rivers.

What makes it special?

As part of AySA’s Metropolitan Plan to guarantee its customers the right to drinking water and sanitation, the utility inaugurated the Fiorito wastewater treatment plant in 2017. Not only does this underscore AySA’s commitment to the government’s National Water Plan, but also brings sanitation services to 270,000 previously under-served people in the southwestern suburbs of Buenos Aires.

On the drinking water side, AySA expanded the Gral. Belgrano water treatment plant in 2017 – part of the city’s South Water System. The expansion included the construction of an underground conveyance channel and two lift stations at a cost of US$550 million. The improvements bring an additional 1 million m3/d of drinking water to the area, thereby providing 2.5 million more people with access to clean, safe drinking water.


By engaging children, teachers and families through its ‘Liquid Life’ programme, AySA has dramatically stepped up its promotion of the value of water and water services throughout its franchise area. The ‘Liquid Life’ programme has deepened the understanding of the water cycle and its contribution to health and economic development, leaving a ‘value footprint’ legacy for generations to come.


Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, India

What is it?

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is responsible for water supply and sewage disposal in the city of Bangalore, and serves 8.5 million people.

What has it done?

BWSSB has implemented a sweeping range of initiatives covering governance reform and the management and development of infrastructure. It has also established a blueprint for future-proofing Bangalore’s water supply needs through its Vision 2050 document.

What makes it special?

BWSSB’s sustained investment in water treatment infrastructure has made it possible for the city’s peripheral areas – which were formerly underserved – to access 24/7 water supply. The capital programme will also enable the utility to treat 100% of the city’s wastewater.

The successful redistribution of peri-urban stormwater flows has allowed for the beneficial re-capture of water which was previously running off into drains or lakes.


Employee welfare has been promoted within BWSSB with the development of focused employee mentoring schemes and a capacity-building programme to retain staff through skills enhancement. Meanwhile, a new ‘Water Centre’ was established for the local community to learn about the importance and value of water and water services. This, combined with the provision of water-efficient fixtures for homes, is engaging the wider community in both educational and practical ways. BWSSB has also initiated a ‘Water Future Hub’ where the private sector can share new innovations and ideas, leading to better collaborative operational performance.


Kaduna State Water Corporation, Nigeria

What is it?

Kaduna State Water Corporation (KADSWAC) is a public water utility company that is 100% owned by the Kaduna State government.

What has it done?

KADSWAC has dramatically transformed its financial and operational performance, thanks to changes in the utility’s approach to performance-based governance. The performance improvement programme (PIP) was undertaken in 2017 and led by 2ML Consulting, in association with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda.

What makes it special?

In 2017, operational improvements led to an increase in service coverage from 32% to 60%. This, combined with a five-fold increase in the daily availability of water supply, has significantly improved utility-customer relations and enhanced the leverage of KADSWAC to rationalise billing for its services.

Collection efficiency prior to the transformation programme stood at between 20% and 30% across KADSWAC’s nine municipal water supply schemes. Thanks to the institutionalisation of the utility’s commercial attitude and improvements to customer service, collection efficiency now stands as high at 98%, bringing the utility substantially closer to its goal of self-sustainability.


Internal efficiencies have also been achieved, including a 37% reduction in the number of staff per 1,000 connections. An organisation-wide re-focusing on human resources means the formerly demoralised workforce of KADSWAC is now highly motivated and striving daily to maintain the utility’s new-found operational and financial performance parameters.


Lagos Water Corporation, Nigeria

What is it?

The water supplier to the City of Lagos in Nigeria, owned by the Lagos State Government.

What has it done?

Lagos Water Corporation’s overall performance has skyrocketed, thanks to an initiative spearheaded by the World Bank, and a consulting partnership with 2ML, which implemented its ‘100 Days’ performance enrichment programme (PEP).

What makes it special?

Customer engagement, combined with financial reform, has increased monthly revenue collections by 76%, resulting in a 136% increase in collection efficiency and a rise in the operating margin of 36%. The number of households which were delinquent in their bill payments has been reduced by an astounding 93%. This signifies a massive turnaround from pre-PEP times, when an unreliable water supply drove customers to seek alternative water sources and bill suppression stood at 60%, forcing the utility to rely heavily on donor support and government subsidies to remain operational.

In addition to these quantitative gains, a number of qualitative improvements were registered in 2017. These include an improvement in attitude towards service delivery, an increase in staff self-motivation, an enhanced focus on teamwork, and the implementation of a benchmarking system to hold the utility accountable to its performance targets.


Institutional governance changes at Lagos Water Corporation have aligned the staff with the organisation’s success. Performance-based targets, including stretch targets which connect individual performance and utility performance, have instilled a stronger work ethic and greater pride throughout, leading to enhanced stakeholder engagement both internally and externally.


The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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