Despite limited funds, a strategy was developed to deliver achievements in the short term, in order to act as a springboard for further sustainable efficiency improvements in the middle and long term. The rapid implementation of instruments for assuring a good quality of base data was proceeding together with business re-engineering and the implementation of benchmarking and monitoring systems.
The project mission statement was defined as follows:
- Support to the GEDWS in the development of a more efficient organizational structure, introduction of efficient performance management principles, setting up IT-supported customer services, and monitoring systems
- Improvement of the base data in qualitative and quantitative terms for subsequent implementation of a reliable performance monitoring system
- In coordination with the activities of the overall program: adjustment of the institutional framework to the requirements of an efficient and decentralized supply company
- Introduction of a cost-centre oriented and computerized accounting system, with the issue of annual profit-and-loss statements, and
- Further development of the GIS system already established under the consultant’s hydraulic analysis project in Aleppo; and implementation of an integrated information management system.
Syria ranked among the Middle Easter countries with the most water scarcity. A water supply of 90 l/c/d contrasted with a water demand of (100 – 150) l/c/d. In total, 35% of the households were not connected to local water networks and were only supplied with as low as 25 l/c/d. In Aleppo, and at the time of the project, 2700 General Establishment for Drinking Water and Sewerage (GEDWS) employees worked on the water supply for 2.2 million inhabitants. The performance of the water utility was inefficient which resulted in a high rate of non-revenue water (NRW) of 38%.
This project was a part of the national program ‘Institutional promotion of the Syrian water sector’ by the GTZ. The goal of the Aleppo component target was to improve the efficiency of the Aleppo water supplier through vocational training. The project also contributed to increasing the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data.
The project team advised GEDWS’s management and employees on the development and implementation of instruments to increase efficiency and performance. The project indicators were:
- To increase the operating cost-covering ratio by 15% (from 50% to 65%) for the period 2005 to 2008
- To reduce the proportion of the non-revenue water by 10 % (from 38% to 28%) which in turn reduced energy consumption and ultimately contributed to combat climate change
- To increase the collection rate by 10% (from around 75%)