Results 1 - 10 of 92
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[en] Highlights: • Environmental collaboration is championed as the solution to water problems. • We conducted an international systematic literature review of empirical studies. • 22 broad themes were found to influence the success and failure of effective collaboration. • Importance, agreement, and compatibility of the themes vary greatly. • More research is needed on how to prioritise different themes and the politics at play. - Abstract: Bold and inventive solutions are urgently needed to safeguard the future use of water. In response, collaborative-innovation is increasingly championed. If stakeholders including water utilities, supply-chain companies, research institutions and local communities work together, share their experiences and pool ideas, meaningful change could happen, it’s argued. But effective collaboration is far from easy. For every incentive that drives collaboration forward, another barrier blocks its path. Whilst the literature offers many possible factors that influence the success (or failure) of collaborative-innovations, it remains unclear which factors are most important, where the highest agreement and disagreement exists, and if accommodating one factor creates problems for another. This is important because its not always practical, nor necessary, to apply everything from the academic literature. In this paper, we report findings from an international systematic literature review that brings together a range of studies that cross the water collaboration and water innovation divide. We identify 22 broad themes that are spread (unevenly) across the entire collaborative-innovation process; highlight how the level of attention given to each theme varies greatly; and where disagreement exists. Our research provides practical insights on how to create more effective collaborative-innovations in water and where future research should be directed.
[en] Highlights: • Score of Data Envelopment Analysis is greatly affected by data quality. • Water sector data quality may be insufficient for DEA use in regulation. • Water services regulators should collect data quality information. • Yardstick competition with DEA is very sensitive to data uncertainty. - Abstract: The regulation of water services shares many similarities with that of other utilities such as electricity or telecommunications. As a result, similar methods are often used by regulators to assess the efficiency of companies in those sectors. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is one of those widely applied methods. This paper aims to determine the adequacy of DEA as a regulatory tool for urban water services, with a special focus on the quality of the available data. In order to obtain useful conclusions, two DEA simulations were performed with audited data from 194 water utilities, officially made available by the Portuguese water regulatory authority (ERSAR). Both simulations will demonstrate that the inherent inaccuracies found in some of the key data provided by water utilities represent a significant obstacle to obtain meaningful results with the DEA technique. This could represent a paradigm shift for some of the regulatory authorities currently using DEA or similar techniques, as the complexity of the method does not seem to be justified by a better analysis of the comparative performance of the different services.
[en] With the increasing interest in yardstick regulation, there is a need to understand the most appropriate method for realigning tariffs at the outset. Benchmarking is the tool used for such realignment and is therefore a necessary first-step in the implementation of yardstick competition. A number of concerns have been raised about the application of benchmarking, making some practitioners reluctant to move towards yardstick based regimes. We assess five of the key concerns often discussed and find that, in general, these are not as great as perceived. The assessment is based on economic principles and experiences with applying benchmarking to regulated sectors, e.g. in the electricity and water industries in the UK, The Netherlands, Austria and Germany in recent years. The aim is to demonstrate that clarity on the role of benchmarking reduces the concern about its application in different regulatory regimes. We find that benchmarking can be used in regulatory settlements, although the range of possible benchmarking approaches that are appropriate will be small for any individual regulatory question. Benchmarking is feasible as total cost measures and environmental factors are better defined in practice than is commonly appreciated and collusion is unlikely to occur in environments with more than 2 or 3 firms (where shareholders have a role in monitoring and rewarding performance). Furthermore, any concern about companies under-recovering costs is a matter to be determined through the regulatory settlement and does not affect the case for using benchmarking as part of that settlement. (author)
[en] This article examines the move by water utilities into the gas market and potentially into the electricity supply market. Operation by Dee Valley Holdings, York Waterworks, York Gas, and North Wales Gas are reported, and investment, use of mail campaigns and telemarketing to secure customers, and the opportunities offered by diversification are considered. (UK)
[en] This document describes the Hanford Reservation site support program plan for each support division, in terms of safety, environmental concerns, costs, and reliability. Support services include the following: Piped Utilities; Electrical utilities; transportation; Energy management; General Administration Support Buildings; electrical safety upgrades. Contained in this Volume II is information covering the following: Operations and maintenance Utilities; Piped Utilities; Water systems Administration and Sampling; electrical utilities
[en] Can data collectors be “pushed” into collecting high quality data or would being “pulled” be more effective? This paper finds that managers should be careful of the degree to which “push” factors, such as managerial pressure and technological input control, are relied upon. While they may be helpful for motivating those data collectors who are not intrinsically motivated, they are either not helpful or may discourage those data collectors who are intrinsically motivated. Instead, self-concordance may act as a longer-term, more stable approach to increasing the motivation of data collectors and thus increasing the quality of data that enter reliability systems. This study uses a sequential mixed-method approach involving interviews with 20 data collectors and a quantitative survey of 109 data collectors in a water utility. It examines the interactive effect of managerial pressure, technological input control and self-concordance on data collection performance
[en] Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating and water. The difficulty of these socially vulnerable consumers to absorb further price increases is often used as an argument against tariff reform. However, detailed quantitative information on the affordability of tariff adjustments for low-income consumers is actually quite scarce. Much of the available information is based on households. This paper takes a more detailed look at the affordability of electricity, district heating and water for low-income consumers in transition countries. While the available data are incomplete, the paper finds that affordability is a problem for low-income consumers in most countries, in particular in the water sector and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The affordability consequences of tariff reform ultimately depend on the speed of tariff adjustments relative to the growth in household income, the level of tariffs needed for cost recovery, the level of effective tariffs at the outset (tariffs adjusted for non-payment) and the demand response to the tariff increase. The paper finds that delaying tariff reform by a few years makes little difference to affordability constraints, and may therefore not be an effective way to mitigate the social impact of utility reform. (author)
[en] Purposes of this document are: to provide an overview of the service and potable water system presently in service at the Hanford Site's 100 K Area; to provide future system forecasts based on anticipated DOE activities and programs; to delineate performance, design, and operations criteria; and to describe planned improvements. The objective of the small water system management program is to assure the water system is properly and reliably managed and operated, and continues to exist as a functional and viable entity in accordance with WAC 246-290-410
[en] The aim of this study was to compare the ecophysiology character of Ecolly grape (Vitis vinifera L.) with the new technology-single crawled cordon training (SCCT) and traditional method-independent long-stem pruning (ILSP). The connections among net photosynthesis rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr), instantaneous water utilization efficiency (WUEi), stomatal conductance (Cs) and intercellular CO/sub 2/ concentration (Ci) were always mutual and inextricable in the trial. The leaves in every stage had the highest Pn respectively when growing under the light irradiance of the different period. The ILSP showed a lower total photosynthetic capacity than the SCCT. There was the total semblable Tr for two pruning plants, but lower Tr in ILSP at the every position of the prior stage and riping stage (PS and RS) excluding the growing stage (GS). The WUEi declined because of the net CO/sub 2/ assimilation saturated and the transpiration constantly fleetly increased before the photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) increased to 600 meu mol m/sup -2/ s/sup -1/. The increased WUEis from the first to the second stage deduced that stomatal closure at high irradiance reduced more Tr than Pn, while the values decreased again in the last stage indicated that stomatal opening at low irradiance added more Tr than Pn. These results suggested that it may be possible technology to change trellises in order to obtain better ecophysiology character in this study. The growth variability of vine may be affected by a particular training style. (author)
[en] An overview is given of the development of the market of and regulations for electric and water utilities in the Netherlands with regard to the present changes as a result of the deregulation and privatization of the market for utilities
[nl]Sinds 1 juli 2004 is de Nederlandse energiemarkt volledig geliberaliseerd. Consumenten en bedrijven kunnen hierdoor zelf bepalen welk energiebedrijf hun gas en elektriciteit levert. Met deze laatste stap in het liberaliseringsproces lijkt Nederland in de pas te lopen met Europa. Nederland zou echter Nederland niet zijn, als het niet voor wil lopen op de rest van Europa. Waar in de meeste Europese landen de scheiding tussen de energiebedrijven en hun netwerken ('unbundling') de facto veelal slechts organisatorisch van aard is, stevent Nederland af op een volledige scheiding van deze twee. Europese richtlijnen op dit gebied vereisen weliswaar dat het netwerkbedrijf in een zelfstandige juridische entiteit wordt ondergebracht en op die manier gescheiden wordt van de leverings- en productiepoot, maar eigendom van de netten hoeft hierbij niet afgescheiden te worden