BRUGEL announces the new water indicators for 2023

BRUGEL, the energy regulator for the Brussels-Capital Region, announces the new indicators to monitor in 2023 for the water sector

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BRUGEL, the energy regulator for the Brussels-Capital Region, announces the new indicators to monitor in 2023 for the water sector

These indicators aim to support the monitoring of water services in the Brussels-Capital Region and ensure their efficient and sustainable management. The monitoring therefore covers all aspects of the water sector, including water supply, wastewater treatment, services to the customers and the ecological sustainability of the water sector.

The water sector in Brussels

The Brussels-Capital Region has a population of over one million people and welcomes every day many workers and tourists. The drinking-water supply is guaranteed by VIVAQUA, a public company that is responsible for the production, distribution, and quality control of drinking water. VIVAQUA is responsible for the billing of water consumption and other customer services. This utility operator also manages part of the sewerage networks.

HYDRIA, the second public operator, is responsible for the management of the other part of the urban wastewater infrastructure. The company operates and maintains the treatment plants and (part of) the sewage networks to ensure that wastewater is collected, treated, and discharged in an environmentally friendly manner.

Managing stormwater is also an important duty of the water sector in Brussels. The region is prone to heavy rainfall, and the management of stormwater is crucial to prevent flooding and combined sewer overflows. The city has several retention reservoirs, managed by the two utility operators, which are designed to capture urban-wastewater peak flows.

The monitoring of BRUGEL

BRUGEL recognizes the importance of transparency and accountability in the water sector and has thus developed the indicators in collaboration with the different stakeholders to provide a reliable view of the sector’s performance. More precisely, the indicators presented below serve the following objectives of BRUGEL in the water sector. Firstly, they support the advisory mission of BRUGEL on the state of the sector by providing valuable data for policy-making processes. Secondly, they assist in fulfilling the tariff control mission of BRUGEL by evaluating the quality and efficiency of the services provided by the water operators. Thirdly, the indicators help in building a historical basis to potentially develop an incentive regulation on the quality of service in the future. Lastly, the indicators guide the revision of the general conditions of the drinking water operator as they provide insights into the areas where improvements must be made. Through these objectives, the indicators aim to improve the quality of service in the water sector in Brussels and ensure that consumers receive reliable and cost-effective water services.

As of now, 33 indicators are monitored (at the scale of the sector) with the aim to double this number by 2025, as some indicators are not yet available and require new IT solutions or practices to be implemented by the water operators. The operators provide the source data (variables of the indicator calculation) and some sector-wide descriptive data to BRUGEL. In total, 24 performance indicators of Quality of Service are today monitored at the sector scale (see Table 1). These could be used for benchmark exercises between WAREG members (with some adaptations and precautions).

Other follow-up indicators on the asset management policies and the efficiency of the operators are also monitored. The full list of indicators is available in French [1] and Dutch [2] on the BRUGEL website.

TypeQuality of ServiceIDNameUnit
Drinking-water (10)Quality of water (1)DW-Qual01Drinking-water quality%
Continuity of drinking-water supply (2)CS-Sup02Disruptions of drinking-water supply by number of connections# /1000 connect.
CS-Sup04Restoration delays of drinking-water supply (after a leak)min:sec
Security of drinking-water supply (1)DW-Fail03Incidents by mains length#/100km
Sustainability of drinking-water services (5)DW-Monitor01Electricity consumption for the production and the transport of drinking-waterkWh / m3
DW-Monitor02Renewable energy bought%
DW-Loss02Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI)#
DW-Loss03Real losses by connectionsl/connect.
DW-Res01Drinking-water consumption by inhabitantsm3 / inhab.
work-site management (nuisances) (1)CS-Compl09Satisfaction level of customers about drinking-water work-sites%
urban wastewater (10)Continuity of service (1)UWW-Fail02Incidents in the sewerage networks# / day
Wastewater treatment quality (3)UWW-Treatm01Sanitation qualitydays
UWW-Treatm04Control of sanitation effectiveness%
UWW-Treatm03UWW through tertiary treatment%
Sustainability of UWW services (6)UWW-Sani02Volume of treated urban waste-waterm3
UWW-Sani03Volume of treated UWW by population equivalentm3 / PE
UWW-Monitor01Energy consumption in urban waste-water treatment plantskWh / m3
UWW-Monitor02On-site energy production in UWWTPskWh
UWW-Monitor03Energy bought for UWWTPskWh
UWW-Monitor04Energy consumption for the collection of urban waste-waterkWh / m3
Customer services (1)Information to the customers (1)CS-Info01Waiting time to reach the operator by phone callmin:sec
Payment (3)Metering of consumption (1)CS-Meter05Meters to replace%
Billing process (1)CS-Bil06Time to process the relocation casesh:min (days)
Bills collection (1)CS-Bil01Proportion of unpaid bills%
Table 1: Quality of service performance indicators monitored in 2023


BRUGEL is the independent regulator for the energy sector in the Brussels Capital Region. In 2018, BRUGEL received new missions for the water sector: i) the control of water tariffs, 2) the approval of general conditions of Vivaqua, 3) the implementation of a litigation service and 4) the development of expertise in the water sector functioning.