Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities

This Primer is designed to help water and wastewater utility managers make practical, systematic changes to achieve excellence in utility performance. It was produced by water and wastewater utility leaders who are committed to helping utility managers improve water and wastewater management. The Primer distills the expertise and experience of these utility leaders into a framework intended to help a utility manager identify and address their most pressing needs through a customized, incremental approach that is relevant to the day-to-day challenges utilities face.


Water and wastewater utilities across the country face common challenges. These include rising costs, aging infrastructure, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, population changes, and a rapidly changing workforce. While many utility managers find themselves turning from one urgent priority to the next, others have systematically applied effective utility management approaches that have helped them improve their products and services, increase community support, and ensure a strong and viable utility long into the future.


Effective utility management can help water and wastewater utilities enhance the stewardship of their infrastructure, improve performance in many critical areas, and respond to current and future challenges. Addressing these challenges also requires ongoing collaboration between government, industry, elected officials, and other stakeholders.