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  and Dutch  on the BRUGEL website.
|Type||Quality of Service||ID||Name||Unit|
|Drinking-water (10)||Quality of water (1)||DW-Qual01||Drinking-water quality||%|
|Continuity of drinking-water supply (2)||CS-Sup02||Disruptions of drinking-water supply by number of connections||# /1000 connect.|
|CS-Sup04||Restoration delays of drinking-water supply (after a leak)||min:sec|
|Security of drinking-water supply (1)||DW-Fail03||Incidents by mains length||#/100km|
|Sustainability of drinking-water services (5)||DW-Monitor01||Electricity consumption for the production and the transport of drinking-water||kWh / m3|
|DW-Monitor02||Renewable energy bought||%|
|DW-Loss02||Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI)||#|
|DW-Loss03||Real losses by connections||l/connect.|
|DW-Res01||Drinking-water consumption by inhabitants||m3 / inhab.|
|work-site management (nuisances) (1)||CS-Compl09||Satisfaction level of customers about drinking-water work-sites||%|
|urban wastewater (10)||Continuity of service (1)||UWW-Fail02||Incidents in the sewerage networks||# / day|
|Wastewater treatment quality (3)||UWW-Treatm01||Sanitation quality||days|
|UWW-Treatm04||Control of sanitation effectiveness||%|
|UWW-Treatm03||UWW through tertiary treatment||%|
|Sustainability of UWW services (6)||UWW-Sani02||Volume of treated urban waste-water||m3|
|UWW-Sani03||Volume of treated UWW by population equivalent||m3 / PE|
|UWW-Monitor01||Energy consumption in urban waste-water treatment plants||kWh / m3|
|UWW-Monitor02||On-site energy production in UWWTPs||kWh|
|UWW-Monitor03||Energy bought for UWWTPs||kWh|
|UWW-Monitor04||Energy consumption for the collection of urban waste-water||kWh / m3|
|Customer services (1)||Information to the customers (1)||CS-Info01||Waiting time to reach the operator by phone call||min:sec|
|Payment (3)||Metering of consumption (1)||CS-Meter05||Meters to replace||%|
|Billing process (1)||CS-Bil06||Time to process the relocation cases||h:min (days)|
|Bills collection (1)||CS-Bil01||Proportion of unpaid bills||%|
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.