International Standard

International Standard

AquaRating is a system based on an international standard for the evaluation and improvement of water and sanitation utilities.

AquaRating offers a comprehensive and impartial evaluation of the utilities’ performance, based on indicators, best practices and reliable information. The basic goal of the rating system is evaluating the water and sanitation services in an integrated way through several assessment elements organized in 8 areas, providing a rating in each one of them. (Download)

The rating system fosters internal initiatives within the organization related to:

AquaRating was originated in 2008 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and developed in close collaboration with the International Water Association (IWA), with the main goal of strengthening the water and sanitation sector around the world.

Currently, AquaRating is used by more than 80 water utilities in more than 20 countries, as well as regulators, government, financial institutions and donors as a guide for strengthening the water and sanitation sector. main users of AquaRating are water and sanitation utilities. 


The AquaFund is an IDB thematic fund for water and sanitation, being the main financing mechanism to support the Bank's investments in the sector since its creation in 2008. The AquaFund has contributed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in water and sanitation in LAC, and will play a crucial role in supporting the governments of the region in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals. It has done so by facilitating investments to increase water supply and sanitation, water resources management, solid waste management and wastewater treatment, while contributing to the sustainability and accessibility of these services for Low income populations. It also supports the Bank's client countries to face the new challenges of climate change, the rapid degradation of freshwater ecosystems, and increasing water insecurity.


The AquaFund is financed with the IDB's own resources and with donor partner resources, these being the Government of Austria, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation AECID, the PepsiCo Foundation and the Swiss Cooperation through its Development Agency and SDC Cooperation and the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs SECO



Benefits for water and sanitation utilities

Integral evaluation of all areas and processes for water and sanitation utilities

Evaluation Areas


AquaRating Certification Cycle

The result of the process is based exclusively on the information provided by the Water Utility and, therefore, the responsibility for the veracity and authenticity of said information rests exclusively with the Utility. Likewise, the results of the process not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Inter-American Development Bank, nor of its Executive Board, nor of the countries it represents, nor the International Water Association

Additional information

What is the minimum rate required for the AquaRating?

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The objective of the rate is to identify main gaps and opportunities for improvement in all areas of the organization. Therefore, the objective is to focus on the AquaRating process regardless of the rating obtained.

What is the AquaRating Certification?

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The AquaRating Certification is an accreditation issued by the IDB and the IWA, which ensures that the AquaRating process has been completed by a water and sanitation utility after being audited by a third party. It has a validity of 3 years.

How long does the AquaRating take?

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The time required to complete the AquaRating varies in each case, considering the availability of the information and the documentation required.

Generally, the Preliminary Rating Cycle can take from 3 to 4 months and the Certification Cycle from 6 to 7 months.

How much does it cost to implement the AquaRating?

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An evaluation of each case is necessary to evaluate total cost of the process, as well as the financing mechanisms or subsidies that could apply in each country or region.

When can I start the AquaRating?

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The AquaRating can be started at any time, although it is recommended to start the process the first semester of the year in order to evaluate the immediately preceding year

Where has the AquaRating been implemented?

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AquaRating has been implemented in countries such as Argentina, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, El Salvador, Fiji, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Mexico, among others.

Where can I get more information about AquaRating?

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To start the AquaRating process, please contact a representative of the IDB or the IWA in your country or through the website