Maria Molinos

Maria Molinos
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile | UC · Departamento de Ingeniería Hidraúlica y Ambiental

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208
Publications
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Publications

Publications (208)
Article
Full-text available
The path to a sustainable management of the urban water cycle requires the assessment of both operational and quality-adjusted efficiency in a unified manner. This can be done by the use of non-radial Data Envelopment Analysis models. This study used Range Adjusted Measure models to evaluate the operational, quality-adjusted, and operational & qual...
Article
Water leakages and unplanned water supply interruptions are relevant variables in the provision of drinking water since they directly impact customers and the economic and environmental performance of water companies. For the first time, in this study, we estimated specific efficiency scores for these two quality-of-service variables using the mult...
Article
Efficiency assessment is a valuable tool for industries that are regulated, such as the provision of drinking water. Hence, past research on this topic is wide. However, current, widely used approaches such as parametric, non-parametric and partial frontier methods present several limitations and pitfalls. Thus, here, the Efficiency Analysis Tree (...
Article
Understanding water-energy nexus in the provision of drinking water services is a challenge which has outstanding relevance in the current climatic emergency. Environmental efficiency and eco-efficiency assessment of water companies are two useful tools to address this challenge. In this study, we estimated hyperbolic and enhanced hyperbolic distan...
Article
Full-text available
The management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a public service that affects the environment and public health. This study sought to assess the eco-productivity change (i.e., temporal dynamics of eco-efficiency) of a sample of municipalities in the provision of MSW management services. The Malmquist-Luenberger Productivity Indicator (MLPI) and it...
Article
Full-text available
Getting a good understanding regarding the economic and environmental performance of water utilities is of great importance to achieve the goal of an efficient and sustainable industry. In this study, we apply the range adjusted measure (RAM) data envelopment analysis (DEA) model to evaluate the integrated (production and environmental) efficiency...
Article
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Designing and implementing innovative and effective policies to reduce domestic water demand is vital to enhance sustainability of cities. Past research has shown that Time-of-Use Tariffs (TOUT) is a powerful tool to reduce water consumption in urban settings. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this dynamic water pricing approach might be influence...
Article
The firms’ performance assessment for regulation requires estimating profit change and its drivers. This study estimates and decomposes profit changes into components such as output and input price changes, output growth, and markups. Using the stochastic frontier analysis, we compute the drivers of productivity change, such as technical change, re...
Article
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy costs has been one of the main challenges faced by the water sector. This study provides a quantification of energy costs and GHG emissions efficiency of a sample of the English and the Welsh water companies over the period of 2013-2018. In doing so, the multi-directional data envelopment analysis...
Article
Access to safe, reliable and affordable drinking water is a human right that should be achieved without neglecting Sustainable Development Goal 13 of the United Nations related to climate action. The production of drinking water involves using a non-negligible amount of energy, leading to relevant economic costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions....
Article
The measurement of efficiency of water utilities is a valuable tool for water regulators and managers to provide services in a sustainable way. Understanding the sources of inefficiency could support business decision making process. In this study we employ the most recent advanced panel data stochastic frontier models to estimate the level of over...
Article
Improper municipal solid waste (MSW) management leads to contamination of water, soil and air with negative impacts on human health. Moreover, not dealing with residual waste has huge implications for meeting circular economy targets. Understanding how much it costs could lead to a better quality of service and boost environmental sustainability. T...
Technical Report
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Comentarios respecto a la propuesta de creación de la Agencia Nacional del Agua en el proyecto de nueva Constitución.
Article
This study applies a two-stage network structure model to evaluate water service providers cost and operational performance embracing service quality variables. An empirical analysis of the Chilean water and wastewater industries over the 2010–2018 period is presented. Moreover, in the second stage of analysis, we analyzed the impact of a set of ex...
Article
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Performance assessments of water utilities are essential to protect the interests of citizens, because utilities operate under natural monopolies and their costs are recovered from customers through water tariffs. In this study, a four-error component model was applied to estimate cost efficiency (CE), persistent efficiency (PE) and transient effic...
Article
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Water systems need to become more locally robust and sustainable in view of increased population demands and supply uncertainties. Decentralized treatment is often assumed to have the potential to improve the technical, environmental, and economic performance of current technologies. The techno-economic feasibility of implementing independent build...
Article
Evaluating and benchmarking the energy efficiency of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) is essential to improve the environmental and economic performance of these facilities. However, robust and reliable methods should be used to compute energy efficiency scores to avoid biased conclusions. In this study, the stochastic non-parametric envelop...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Comentarios a las normas propuestas por la Comisión de Medio Ambiente en lo relativo al estatuto constitucional del agua.
Article
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Moving to a more sustainable and low-carbon footprint urban water cycle is essential in the light of climate change. In this paper, we estimate the implicit cost of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for several English and Welsh water companies from 2013 to 2019. Using econometric techniques, we compute the shadow prices of direct and indirec...
Article
Full-text available
Several methodological approaches have been applied to evaluate the performance of water companies for regulatory purposes. Performance assessment involving a long-time period is relevant to consider the heterogeneity of the water companies as many changes might have occurred across years. In this study, we applied three different parametric models...
Article
Wastewater treatment is an energy-intensive process and therefore, improving the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is relevant from an economic and environmental perspective. Water companies managing WWTPs operate under monopolistic conditions and thus, benchmarking their performance using robust methods is fundamental for re...
Article
Full-text available
This paper researches the existence of economies of scale and scope in the Chilean water and sewerage industry using a translog cost function approach over the period 2010–2017. It also provides estimates of productivity growth and its determinants, technical change and scale effect. The results suggest that on average, the water industry operates...
Article
The measurement of efficiency of water utilities has been traditionally carried out using econometric methods or linear programming techniques. Alternatively, in this study a data mining non-parametric method is used, such as an artificial neural network (ANN) approach, to predict the efficiency of several water companies in England and Wales. The...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to estimate and compare the efficiency of several water utilities using three frontier techniques. Moreover, this study estimates the impact of several qualities of service variables on water utilities’ performance. Design/methodology/approach The paper utilizes three frontier techniques such as data envelopmen...
Article
Full-text available
Rural areas are exposed to severe environmental pollution issues fed by industrial and agricultural activities combined with poor waste and sanitation management practices, struggling to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with Agenda 2030. Rural communities are examined through a “dual approach” as both contrib...
Article
This study evaluates and compares the dynamic eco-efficiency of municipalities with publicly owned, privately owned, and mixed ownership solid waste utilities by estimating the Meta-frontier Malmquist-Luenberger productivity index for a sample of 68 major Italian towns. On average, the eco-productivity of Italian waste service providers increased b...
Article
Full-text available
The water production system is a complex network and policy makers can get a better insight into how the system operates if they know how efficient each sub-process is. In this study, and for the first time, we employ a two-stage network Data Envelopment Analysis model to evaluate the eco-efficiency of water services in England and Wales, integrati...
Article
This study examines the efficiency and productivity of the Chilean water and sewerage industry over the period 2010–2017 using a stochastic cost frontier model. This methodological approach allowed us to evaluate the impact of water companies´ ownership on their productivity. This is very relevant for the Chilean water and sewerage industry which i...
Technical Report
Full-text available
En el contexto del proceso constituyente que se desarrolla actualmente en nuestro país, este trabajo, que reúne las miradas de distintas disciplinas, tiene el objetivo de efectuar, primero, un diagnóstico sucinto y general de la situación del agua en Chile, y, luego, aportar antecedentes para determinar qué aspectos de esta temática podrían incorpo...
Article
Full-text available
The water industry plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and therefore, moving to a low-carbon urban water cycle is of great importance. However, traditional performance assessment of water companies ignores GHG emissions. To overcome this limitation and to compare productivity change estimations of water companies excl...
Article
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The water industry encompasses a wide variety of water companies operating with different production technologies. This study evaluated and compared changes to the productivity of several fully private water companies (FPWCs) and concessionary water companies (CWCs). Specifically, the cost Malmquist productivity index was estimated by integrating i...
Article
Many regulators employ frontier techniques to measure the performance of regulated monopolistic companies. This study estimates the cost efficiency of the water sector using the stochastic non-parametric envelopment of data (StoNED) method which brings together the qualities of both data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (...
Article
Quality of service (QS) is one of the most important parameters for evaluating the performance of water companies. It is a multidimensional concept that encompasses several performance indicators, with synthetic indicators that provide useful evaluation tools. Drinking water provision and wastewater treatment are basic services for which there is a...
Article
Moving to a low-carbon urban water cycle is a relevant challenge for the water industry. To realise this objective, the first step is to evaluate the carbon performance of water companies. This study proposed and applied a parametric methodology to measure the carbon efficiency and total factor carbon productivity of water companies. This methodolo...
Article
Full-text available
Water leakage in the urban water cycle involves relevant economic, social, and environmental negative impacts. Thus, reducing water leakage is a key challenge for both water regulators and water companies. This study estimated the evolution (2007–2015) of the marginal cost of improving the quality of service in terms of water leakage in the Chilean...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the productivity change of water companies provides relevant information for both water regulators and companies’ managers. Past research has illustrated that different indicators and indexes have been applied although not all of them are equally reliable. Thus, this study evaluates the total factor productivity (TFP) change and its drive...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of performance of water companies is essential for their regulation. In doing so, several variables and models can be employed. This study evaluates and compares the performance of a sample of English and Welsh water companies from the operational, environmental and eco-efficiency perspectives by applying the non-radial data envelopm...
Article
The water and sewerage industry in England and Wales had undergone several reforms since its privatization. To evaluate to what extent they had impacted on the performance of water companies, an input distance function and its derived cost share equations was estimated. This allowed measuring technical efficiency, economies of scale and cost comple...
Article
Full-text available
The management of municipal solid waste sector is crucial for a sustainable circular economy. Waste utilities are expected to provide high quality solid waste services at an affordable price. The efficient management of solid waste requires its assessment from an economic and environmental perspective, i.e., eco-efficiency assessment. Although the...
Article
Full-text available
In the circular economy context, improving the eco-efficiency of the management of municipal solid waste (MSW) occupies a prominent role. The aim of this study was to evaluate the eco-efficiency of MSW services provided by a sample of 142 Chilean municipalities using data envelopment analysis (DEA), a method that integrates both economic and enviro...
Article
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions involves effort from different sectors of the economy, including the water and sewerage industry. This study estimates the marginal cost of curtailing GHG emissions in the water and sewerage industry using stochastic frontier analysis techniques for a sample of ten English and Welsh water and sewerage compani...
Article
Improving the eco-efficiency of municipalities in the provision of municipal solid waste (MSW) services is fundamental in the context of a circular economy. This study evaluates the eco-efficiency of a sample of Spanish municipalities, integrating the total cost as input, recyclable waste as desirable output, and unsorted waste as undesirable outpu...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating the performance and analyzing the cost drivers of water utilities is of great interest for water regulators and water sector managers. This study uses a quadratic cost function to investigate the existence of economies of scale and scope in the Chilean water and sewerage industry over the period 2010–2017. We also estimate and decompose...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating the quality of service (QS) provided by water companies is essential to benchmark and regulate them. Composite indicators (CIs) are a useful tool for this as they consist of aggregated multiple performance indicators in a single index, providing a holistic assessment of the QS of water companies. In this study, the novel ‘benefit of doub...
Article
In regulated industries, such as the water industry, it is of great significance to estimate productivity change as it helps policy makers to evaluate the effectiveness of regulatory regime and industry performance. In this paper, and for the first time, a translog input distance function was used to estimate and decompose productivity change into...
Article
Full-text available
En Chile, el marco normativo e institucional de la provisión de servicios sanitarios (agua potable y saneamiento) difiere según se trate de áreas concesionadas o no concesionadas. Una de las principales distinciones que surgen de este trato diferenciado es la cobertura alcanzada en ambos ámbitos. En las áreas concesionadas, la cobertura de agua pot...
Article
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Analyzing costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could be of great importance for the water utilities to supply water services in a healthy and sustainable manner. In this study, we measured the eco-efficiency of several water utilities in England and Wales by incorporating GHG as an undesirable output. For the first time, we evaluated the eco-ef...
Article
The assessment of the productivity change of water utilities provides essential information to sector managers and regulators. This study uses the Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen Productivity Indicator (LHMPI) to evaluate productivity change as it can be further decomposed into three components namely technical change (TC), technical efficiency change (...
Article
Water companies are expected to deliver high-quality water services to their customers that include, among others, continuity of water supply. Unplanned water supply interruptions (UWSI) indicate a cost for the water companies and a deterioration in the quality of service for the customers. Thus, it is essential to quantify the cost of reducing UWS...
Article
Full-text available
The collection of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a public service with notable effects on the environment and public health. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of selective collection and recycling of MSW on the performance of municipalities in providing MSW services. By employing the data envelopment analysis method, the effici...
Chapter
Since many years ago, Chile has made several efforts and reforms to provide drinking water for domestic uses, and has become a success story and example for urban settings in Latin America. Although the coverage of drinking water supply is almost universal (99.9%) in Chilean cities, in rural areas however the coverage is only 52.3%, and drinking wa...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) performance has gained the interest of water utilities and water regulators. Eco-efficiency has been identified as a powerful indicator, as it integrates economic and environmental variables into a single index. Most previous studies have employed traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA) for th...
Article
Co-digestion is a well-established strategy to maximise the capacity of anaerobic digestion in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Many tools have been developed to optimise the blend composition. However, the logistics associated with each component of the blend remain a relatively unexplored field, which can yield significant planning challenges...
Article
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a major challenge faced by cities seeking to improve their environmental sustainability. Doing so requires a good understanding of the costs associated with lowering emissions and factors that may influence this cost. This study estimated the marginal abatement cost of reducing both direct and indirect CO2 emiss...
Article
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In this mentioned article, the Author names are mistakenly have been replaced with the family name of the authors, and so the family names with the names.
Technical Report
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La priorización de su uso para consumo humano se ha transformado en uno de los pocos espacios y puntos de acuerdo social y político en torno al agua en Chile. Nadie pareciera discutir o estar en contra de una declaración normativa de esta índole, la cual, además, tiene una clara vinculación con el derecho humano al agua y con la Agenda de Desarroll...
Article
Full-text available
Regulated water industries need to improve their technical efficiency and allocate their resources efficiently. This is the case of the water industry in England and Wales which was privatized in 1989, and the method of price cap regulation was implemented. This study uses an input distance function system approach to estimate the technical efficie...
Article
Understanding what drives changes in regulated water companies' costs is of great relevance to water regulators. This study decomposes and estimates the change in total costs for a sample of ten water and sewerage companies in England and Wales from 1993 to 2016. The results demonstrate that companies' total costs increased over time due to increas...
Article
Conventional performance assessments of water companies ignore the external costs due to water supply outages. To overcome this gap, we evaluate the impact of external costs of unplanned supply interruptions on the efficiency of water companies. Two efficiency metrics, internal technical efficiency (ITE), and total technical efficiency (TTE), were...
Technical Report
Full-text available
En este texto se abordan los siguientes aspectos: el tratamiento del agua para consumo humano en la normativa chilena y en algunos regímenes comparados; la cuantificación del agua para consumo humano; la definición de la pertinencia de su priorización; ciertos lineamientos de política pública para efectuar tal priorización; y algunas reflexiones fi...
Article
The assessment of water companies’ efficiency, productivity and quality of service is part of the process to set water tariffs and therefore, is relevant for regulators and customers. However, the water industry involves several heterogeneous water companies. Following a pioneering approach, this study estimates productivity change and its drivers...
Article
In this article we investigate the relationship between productivity and profitability, and their drivers: changes in outputs, output and input prices, technical change, technical efficiency change, and scale and mark-up effects. We apply profit decomposition to the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales in 1991–2016. We find that over t...
Article
Evaluating changes in profit, price and productivity over time can be of great importance for regulated water industries. We investigate the drivers of profit, price (capital, labour and other inputs) and productivity change (cost efficiency change, technical change and scale effect) and the recipients of productivity change (consumers, the busines...
Article
Evaluating the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is highly relevant to improve their performance from an economic and environmental perspective. The issue is even more critical in countries where WWTPs are benchmarked to regulate water companies and define WWTPs' economic and environmental objectives. Despite the large number of pre...
Article
Full-text available
Frontier efficiency methods have been recurrently used in the water sector to assess the performance of water utilities. These methods are also used for yardstick regulation, with greater efficiency being sought by creating competition between the utilities, which can have an impact on decision-making processes, such as tariff setting. This study a...
Article
Full-text available
In monopoly services that provide drinking water, it is of paramount importance to evaluate the total factor productivity (TFP) change of water companies. Most of the previous studies have computed the Malmquist productivity index (MPI) by applying non-parametric methods. By contrast, following a pioneering approach, in this study, we estimated the...
Article
Evaluating the sustainability of wastewater management alternatives is a challenging task. This paper proposes an innovative methodology to assess and compare the sustainability of four wastewater management alternatives: a) centralised water resource recovery facility (WRRF) based on activated sludge (AS); b) centralised WRRF with membrane bioreac...
Article
Evaluating the technological and operational characteristics of the water and sewerage industry is interesting for researchers and policy makers. In this study an input distance function was applied to evaluate the technical efficiency, synergies between water and sewerage services, economies of scale and input substitutability for a sample of full...
Article
Many countries face increasing challenges related to risks to natural hazards. In order to address this situation, countries and communities have developed strategies to reduce risk levels of critical infrastructure systems and, therefore, improve their resilience. Among critical infrastructure systems, the production and distribution of drinking w...
Article
The efficient provision of municipal solid waste (MSW) services is essential from an economic and environmental perspective. This paper investigates the effect of ownership type on the eco-efficiency of MSW management in Tuscan municipalities. In the first stage of the analysis, the authors use a data envelopment analysis metafrontier approach with...