Multi-Agency Performance Benchmarking Program, Metropolitan Water District, Los Angeles, California



Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California


Data Inspection/Control; Data Base Management; Overhead Adjustment; Regional Adjustment; Statistical Analysis; Graphic Production; Report


DRC worked on a benchmark study to provide a general analysis of the efficiency of capital project delivery systems among participating water utilities in the United States. Twelve agencies submitted project delivery cost data on 92 projects. Three types of projects were included in the study: pipelines, pump stations, and water treatment facilities. Our team collected and analyzed cost information for each project phase: Planning and Conceptual Design, Detailed Design, and Construction. DRC staff performed regression analyses on the submitted projects. Each analysis was performed for the aggregate data set and for data submitted by each participating agency in comparison with the aggregate of the remaining data set. The methods and results of analyses were documented in a report, including the following for each regression analysis or groups of analyses: an adjustment of cost data using the Engineering News Record (ENR) index; an outlier analysis and elimination; calculated R-value; calculated p-value; average and standard error; confidence interval; and project data histograms indicating skewness. Final regression models were produced for the following:

  • Planning Cost (% of Construction Cost) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Design Cost (% of Construction Cost) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Construction Services (% of Construction Cost) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Change Orders (% of Construction Cost) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Consultant Costs in Planning and Design Phases (% of Planning and Design Costs) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Consultant Costs in Construction Services Phase (% of Construction Services Phase) vs Construction Costs ($)
  • Planning and Design Phase Costs (% of Construction Costs) vs Duration of Planning and Design Phase (months)
  • Total Duration (months) vs Construction Cost ($)
  • Design drawing sheets (count) vs Construction Cost ($)