17 February 2023 / Vienna, Austria
Getting Results: The Annual Bulgarian Benchmarking Meeting
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
17 February 2023

On 7 and 8 February the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) hosted the UBP Bulgarian Hub's annual Benchmarking Meeting, reviewing both the 2021 results and future perspectives, the latter with a strong focus on energy efficiency. In spite of a packed schedule, enthusiastic feedback showed that participants had enjoyed a pleasant meeting.

UBP, the Utility Benchmarking Program, is an important part of D-LeaP, the Danube Learning Partnership. This program assists utilities in collecting their performance data, in processing and comparing them to identify chances for performance improvement, and beyond that promotes knowledge exchange among peers as a route to better performance.

The official presentation of the Benchmarking results 2021 of the Danube Region water service sector operators in general and the 2021 national Benchmarking of the participating Bulgarian utilities were the main theme of the meeting at the Spa Hotel Dvoretsa in Velingrad.

The Benchmarking Program is highly appreciated not only among utility operators, but also public stakeholders, as proven by opening speeches of the Bulgaria Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, the President of the national Energy and Water Regulatory Commission and the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Water and Sewerage Holding.

Ivan Ivanov, President of the Bulgarian Water Association, and Elisabeta Poci, IAWD Association Devlopment Manager, opened the event, and Aleksandar Krstic, IAWD Coordinator of the UBP Danube Hub dove right into the core of the event, presenting the 2021 results for the WSS Operators in the Danube region, followed by reports on the Bulgarian WSS sector in general and on the Bulgarian WSS operators who took part in the project.

The event's second big theme was energy efficiency, and most of the afternoon was dedicated to presentations on best practices, innovative technology and future strategies in this field, with a team-building exercise and an official dinner closing day one, followed by a field trip to Lake Kleptuza, one of Bugaria's largest drinking water resources, on day two, closing an information-packed event that earned the organizers enthusiastic feedback from everybody involved.