Effects of Operational and Environmental Variables on Efficiency of Water and Wastewater Utilities

Effects of Operational and Environmental Variables on Efficiency of Water and Wastewater Utilities

The Effects of Operational and Environmental Variables on Efficiency of Danish Water and Wastewater Utilities

Andrea Guerrini, Giulia Romano, Chiara Leardini and Martina Martini

Abstract

Efficiency improvement is one of three patterns a public utility should follow in order to get funds for investments realization. The other two are recourse to bank loans or to private equity and tariff increase. Efficiency can be improved, for example, by growth and vertical integration and may be conditioned by environmental variables, such as customer and output density.

Prior studies into the effects of these variables on the efficiency of water utilities do not agree on certain points (e.g., scale and economies of scope) and rarely consider others (e.g., density economies). This article aims to contribute to the literature by analysing the efficiency of water utilities in Denmark, observing the effects of operational and environmental variables.

The method is based on two-stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) applied to 101 water utilities. We found that the efficiency of the water sector was not affected by the observed variables, whereas that of wastewater was improved by smaller firm size, vertical integration strategy, and higher population density. 

Keywords : scale of firms; scope of operations; customer density

Water   2015 7 (7), 3263-3282; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7073263

Guerrini, A.; Romano, G.; Leardini, C.; Martini, M. The Effects of Operational and Environmental Variables on Efficiency of Danish Water and Wastewater Utilities.  Water   2015 7 , 3263-3282.

Source: MDPI