Assess your system with ECAM – the tool to drive GHG emission reduction in the water sector

Overview – How to use ECAM – Assess

The Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring (ECAM) Tool, offers a free web-based solution to quantify the GHG emissions that utilities can control within the urban water cycle and drive GHG emission reduction in utilities.

The ECAM tool is the first of its kind. It follows an holistic approach to the urban water cycle that informs on which improvements can have the biggest impact across the entire drinking water and wastewater system.

ECAM specializes in

Assessment of greenhouse gas emission

The ECAM tool provides a graphic breakdown of sources of emissions and their distribution within the urban water cycle. The UNFCCC category to which the emissions are attributed is also displayed.

Assessment of energy performance

The ECAM tool helps understand where and how much energy is consumed within the urban water cycle. Energy consumption by system (water supply and wastewater) and by stage, as well as the contribution of energy costs to total operational costs are easy to grasp through graphic pies.

Identifying opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions

ECAM allows you to see the greatest opportunities for reducing GHG emissions from various measures within the whole urban water cycle.

Identifying energy efficiency measures

Drinking water and wastewater companies spend up to 35 percent of their total operational costs on energy. These operating costs can be as high as one-third of a municipality’s energy bill. In developing countries, this percentage can be as high as 75%. Investing in increased energy efficiency of existing urban water services can reduce electricity related emissions by up to 30 percent with relatively simple measures. ECAM shows you the way to identify effective energy efficiency measures.

Projection of the impact of measures

ECAM also provides the opportunity to develop scenarios and model reduction impacts of future measures as well as monitor the GHG reduction results after their implementation.

Monitoring and verification of GHG reduction

ECAM provides a transparent, holistic and consistent approach for monitoring, reporting and verifying mitigation (MRV) in the water sector, a prerequisite for accessing climate financing. Methods to measure, report and verify information differ on the level of assessment and the objective. Sometimes a variety of methods is available; for building national inventories only IPCC Guidelines are accepted internationally. ECAM can provide the methodology for MRV of GHG emissions in the water sector, since it is mainly based on IPCC Guidelines. ECAM supports developing a national GHG inventory and can also support a facility level GHG inventory.

Benchmarking and knowledge exchange

ECAM helps utilities share the same indicators and language regarding energy performance and carbon emissions. This shared language is the basis for peer to peer exchange between utilities from different countries. The indicators may be selected by regulators or other government agencies to support and standardize reporting at national or regional level.

Municipal contribution to Paris agreement

ECAM helps utilities contribute to national carbon reduction targets agreed under the Nationally Determined Contributions in the Paris international climate agreement.

Learn how to use ECAM

How does it work?

Fill in basic system information in the configuration tab. Estimates of values are available depending on the chosen country.

In the inventory tab you can add new substages and insert data for water supply (abstraction, treatment, distribution) and sanitation (collection, treatment, onsite sanitation).

Look at results and see where the biggest sources of emissions occur.

ECAM shows emissions categorised by source and greenhouse gas.

Use different functions to monitor and report your emissions and to identify the stages with highest emissions .

The “Compare assessments” function is especially useful to compare emissions of different utilities or of different years .

A comprehensive report in pdf-format containing all results data and figures is generated automatically.

Look at Opportunities page to see what type of solutions have the biggest impact.

ECAM training material

ECAM User Manual

Bruno Eduardo Silva, Carolina Cabral, Sebastian Rosenfeldt 2022

ECAM Methodology Guide

Bruno Eduardo Silva, Carolina Cabral, Sebastian Rosenfeldt 2022

ECAM – Introduction


Factsheet-ECAM 3.0 Assessing the Carbon Footprint of Urban Water Utilities-EN

WaCCLiM 2021

Prepare my data

The ECAM tool requires only data typically available in utilities in developing and emerging economies. This data includes: type of systems, performance parameters, serviced population and natural constraints. For each stage of the urban water cycle, data is used to derive key and complementary Performance Indicators (PIs) for the GHG and energy assessment.
The ECAM tool is just a tool. Without a data framework to get accurate and current data into the tool, it cannot support the water utility in its programmatic GHG reduction.

Constructing a data framework is about identifying relevant data sources, data processes, data gaps, and data improvement plans

Construct your data framework

Assess system

The first time the ECAM tool is run requires the user to create a new project, whereby to fill in basic data about the water system, such as the assessment period, the elements from the urban water cycle that form the system, values for the resident and serviced population for water supply, population connected to sewers, the serviced with wastewater treatment and the population with onsite treatment. The system is then set up to either run.

What you can expect after running the ECAM tool…

GHG emissions by stage

GHG emissions by gas

Energy consumption by substage

ECAM looks at energy use and GHG emissions at the individual stage level of the urban water cycle (i.e. abstraction, drinking water treatment, distribution, collection, wastewater treatment, onsite sanitation), providing utilities with a more thorough assessment of their GHG emissions and energy usage. It helps utilities identify areas of improvement and evaluate solutions and scenarios for developing a feasible carbon reduction strategy in line with their current and future needs.

Assess your utility’s carbon footprint
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Assess your utility’s energy performance and GHG emissions

Assess my system