Welcome to NJS Research Institute for Public Management.

  NJS Consultants (Nippon Jogesuido Sekkei Co., Ltd.), a consulting firm based in Japan, is a world leader in the field of environmental engineering and consulting services. Since its establishment in 1951 and for the past half century, NJS has successfully completed over 18,000 wastewater and 5,000 water supply projects for an extensive and ever-growing list of international clients.
  Research Institute for Public Management, established in November 2005 as a branch of NJS, is a think tank specializing in the management of water supply and wastewater service. We provide consultancies for both public and private customers on our due engineering process backed up by legal, managerial and accounting personnel. We endeavor in particular to plan, develop and prepare the best PPP (Public Private Partnership) scheme to enhance a good competition practice and improve the level of service in our field.




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NJS Consulting Engineers

Last updated on 1 November 2011


  The following titles and abstracts of papers are submitted /presented in recent years by our staffs.

Contributed to the seventh issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, October 2010
GHG emission reduction and its potential trading option by improving sewage sludge treatment process. (in Japanese)

More than one-quarter of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission from sewerage system in Tokyo is reportedly nitrous oxide (N2O) from incineration process of dewatered sludge, which is planned to be greatly reduced by introducing sludge carbonization, gasification process instead of incineration and catalytic decomposition of N2O. Although excess N2O reduction thus acquired cannot be traded in Tokyo Emissions Trading Scheme (Tokyo-ETS) or EU-ETS market at present, sales revenues of offset credits if any should be regarded as some temporary bonus. Smaller trading transactions of regional or community base are mentioned as desirable, to reduce risk of abnormally fluctuating trading price of global market and to return the benefit of GHG emission reduction to customers in accordance with their monetary contributions.

Contributed to the sixth issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, July 2010
PFI schemes to promote biomass marketing opportunities at wastewater treatment plants. (in Japanese)

Organic waste from decentralized sewage treatment system as well as fish, agriculture or any industrial processing might be co-treated with sewage sludge at public wastewater treatment plants to draw out maximum potential of biomass reuse with less cost, coupling some necessary pre-treatment. Some model projects have just started under the public or private initiative of finance and coordination. Adequate marketing process is the key issue for any profitable project, avoiding the demand-supply mismatch of both biomass feedstocks and products; private sector participation is suggested to be essential by adopting a PFI or DBO scheme.

Contributed to the fifth issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, April 2010
Successful strategies to change water tariff. (in Japanese)

Enhanced operational efficiency, improved working practices and resulted overall customers' satisfaction are essential to discuss any change of water tariff at municipal assembly. A strategy to reduce the watersupply service charge taking down its surplus reserved for future investment in order to offset the increase of wastewater service charge is sometimes proposed but with few success, because domestic accounts of watersupply and wastewater services are not consolidated and the latter is generally accepted to be partly subsidized by the municipality. A rebating tariff scheme for the increased water demand by industrial customers is suggested to be applicable to increase the overall turnover.

Contributed to the fourth issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, January 2010
How to improve the water supply and wastewater services provided by municipalities. (in Japanese)

Bureaucratic aspects should be carefully eliminated in the municipal water supply and wastewater services. Most users expect a variety of on-line payment methods and 24 hours telephone services, but on-line payments are often not available and potential users sometimes have no options for registration except by visiting the offices of water utilities which open only during daytime on weekdays. Private water companies as in England or gas supply service providers are suggested to offer good examples for any service improvement trial, and nonprofitness or publicness of every municipality is proposed to be strategically pursued.

Contributed to the third issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, October 2009
Charges and bills for water supply and wastewater services in France. (in Japanese)

The price for water supply service is regarded to be rather costly by more than half of all queried customers in France, though as much as 85 per cent of them have expressed their satisfaction with the service: the average charge amounts to €3.07 per cubic meter in France for water supply and wastewater service, which is 1.5 times higher than that of Japan. The presented breakdown into every cost component of charge on each bill in France as a means to keep the customers informed is suggested to enhance the willingness to pay for and even overall satisfaction with water supply and wastewater service.

Contributed to the second issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, July 2009
Mutual ownership of water and sewerage assets - a model of Glas Cymru's and a proposal by Yorkshire Water. (in Japanese)

All of the water and sewerage assets of Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig) are owned by NPO-like holding company Glas Cymru Cyfyngedig for the benefit of its customers after the takeover battle of Hyder in the late 1990s. Separation of assets' ownership from operations and mutual ownership by customers instead of stockholders must be an effective means for any privatized public utilities to prevent takeover by any third party, and the establishment of Glas Cymru did achieve its purpose, though it is in fact a mutual ownership by representatives of Welsh Water. Proposed establishment of RCAM (Registered Community Asset Mutual) to own Yorkshire Water Services Limited's assets must have been a first and epoch making model of customers' mutual ownership if put into practice, but unfortunately was rejected by OFWAT in 2000. The cause and effect of Glas Cymru's case, as well as the reasons of rejection by OFWAT are surveyed.

Submitted to the Journal of Japan Water Works Association
Operations improvement options proposed through activity based costing analysis at water supply facilities under long-term operation and maintenance agreements. (in Japanese)

  Operations improvement options are proposed based on activity based costing analysis, at three water supply facilities which are operated under operation and maintenance agreements for three years' duration. About twenty percent of all personnel fees could be reduced by reorganizing the night shift work schedule, in place of the present 24 hours' attendance of two personnel. Introducing PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) devices, as well as establishing a network of part-time workers for seasonal labors or emergency conditions are also mentioned as applicable.

Contributed to the Annual Technical Report FY2008, published by the Association of Water and Sewage Works Consultants Japan, April 2009
Topics from the revised Guideline for Preparing and Monitoring Long-Term and Performance-Based O&M Outsourcing.
(in Japanese)

  Revised edition of the "Guideline for Preparing and Monitoring Long-Term and Performance-Based Operation and Maintenance Outsourcing" was published in June 2008 by the Japan Sewage Works Association. Background and concepts of the revision, as well as the major additions and changes are outlined, by a supporting staff of the editing task force.

Contributed to the Journal of Sewerage, Monthly, Vol.33, No.5, April 2009
Prospects of privatization of domestic wastewater services.
(in Japanese)

  To privatize wastewater service is regarded to relieve the heavy burden of related debt depreciation of domestic municipalities. The inter-communal cooperation for setting up long-term operation and maintenance contracts is referred to as the first and easiest choice, which offers the greater opportunities of cost reduction for the bid-winners. Affermage or leasing facilities is referred to as the second choice, when the future capital investments are scarcely needed. Debt equity swap might be a supplemental option, either through establishing public funds or through issuing bonds not having a fixed redemption date but promising a fixed coupon payment like the British consols. The nationalization model by IWK in Malaysia and the joint-stock model of Berlin Water are also mentioned as impractical; both of which require a series of amendments of domestic laws.

Contributed to the first issue of Water Solutions and Technologies, April 2009
Fiscal contents of sewerage services on domestic municipalities' websites.
(in Japanese)

  Most domestic municipalities have set up their wastewater charges far cheaper than the required level for recovering both the bond redemption and maintenance costs, of which fact is not fully recognized by customers. Disclosure of comprehensive financial information on sewerage services is thus much needed to arouse public concern. Websites on sewerage services provided by 754 cities are reviewed featuring fiscal contents and the best fours are nominated for the superiority of their contents: the City of Maebashi, the City of Kawasaki, the City of Yokosuka and the City of Kyoto.

Presented at the 60th Annual Technical Conference on Water Works, Saitama/Japan, 20-22 May 2009
Audited matters and results for water supply authorities based on comprehensive external audit contracts.
(in Japanese)

  Over 1,500 of both financial and managerial matters in domestic municipalities have been audited by the comprehensive external auditors, appointed either compulsorily or optionally by mayors based on the amended Local Autonomy Law in 1999, of which matters 66 are on water supply service. Available 38 reports of these 66 audited matters were categorized with the following result; most of the audits were focused on financial affairs, checking out any misstatements or making sure of the accordance with the accounting principle or relevant legal requirements, while comments or opinions from technical aspects were scarcely found. Techno-financial matters such as developed capital investment programmes or operations improvement trials through inter-communal cooperation are recommended to be audited, which consist of the important components of managerial affairs.

Contributed to the journal Suido Koron, Vol.45, No.3, March 2009
Re-municipalized water supply service in Paris; its cause and effect.
(in Japanese)

  The City of Paris is now preparing to re-municipalize its water supply service, in line with the expiries of the two affermage agreements of water distribution in December 2009. The present concession holder of water production Eau de Paris shall be reorganized as an entrustee to own, operate and manage all the components of water asset in Paris. Being a monopolized 100 percent subsidiary of the City and controlled by the City Council, the new Eau de Paris must endeavor to avoid any political influence impeding the efficiency of the organization, while pursuing the least economy as a non-profit service provider. Concession or affermage of the whole water supply service is referred to as a better solution, as well as the joint-stock and holding company model of Berlin Water or the mutual ownership and holding company model of Welsh Water are referred to as options worthy of notice.

Presented at the 43rd Annual Technical Conference on Sewage Works, Osaka/Japan, 25-27 July 2006
An estimate of cost reduction to be achieved through a long-term and performance-based o&m contract.
(in Japanese)

  Achievable cost reduction was estimated before setting up a long-term of up to five years and performance-based O&M (Operation and Maintenance) agreement of a WWTP, of which present capacity is about 50,000 cubic ms per day. A series of dialogues with five prospective bidders indicate that higher percentage of cost reduction could be expected with longer duration of contract and wider range of project scope: maximum 11 percent to be expected when five years of duration and with utilities-procurement and sludge disposal attached to the ordinary O&M service. Effective means of operations improvement is also suggested, including the reduction of life cycle cost through preventive maintenance and of personnel expenses through flexible staffing endeavor.

Submitted to and presented at the 3rd International Conference on Project Management (ProMAC 2006), Sydney/ Australia, 27-29 September 2006
A study of the communication management in a matrix organization.

  The traditional paradigm of information processing in the managerial organization theory has acknowledged the organization as “an aggregation of individual who makes a decision”. Activities of the organization have been managed through controlling members with disciplines and orders. The design of matrix organization by Galbraith also follows this paradigm. In this study the author classified the information processing activities in the matrix organization of Japan Sewage Works Agency into 16 categories and investigated. As a result of the cross analysis and the interviews, it was proved that the Japan Sewage Works Agency have changed the official communication channels in order to adapt the change in the organizational environment. The author will discuss the fact that they acknowledged the organization as “an aggregation of the member’s communication” and they have managed the project effectively through the change of the communication channels.

Submitted to and presented at the 10th International Conference on Urban Drainage (10th ICUD), Copenhagen/Denmark, 21-26 August 2005
Potentials of stored rainwater as an alternative water resource to meet the increasing water demand: a case study. (PDF)

  Detention/storage of rainwater instead of its quick removal is an effective control measure for urban drainage. As well as its peak-cut effect, multi-purpose use of stored rainwater is expected as an on-site water resource. Though Japan is not an arid area (annual average precipitation is 1,718mm per year) serious water supply shortage arises at times in some urban areas, due to the heavily concentrated population or industrial activities and the relatively small catchment area. Utilization of stored rainwater is thus promoted in such areas, including Naha city, capital of Okinawa Island, located in south-east end of Japan. A feasibility study was conducted at Naha New Town, extending 2 square kms which was planned to be developed near the center of Naha city, aiming at estimating the potentials of stored rainwater to substitute for the water supply system to meet the water demand. Based on day by day mass-balance calculation and cost-benefit analysis, it is concluded that usage of stored rainwater shall be limited to domestic use and 8.5 percent of water demand shall be substituted and total run-off discharge of stormwater from Naha New Town shall be reduced by 67 percent through storage and utilization.

Presented at the 42nd Annual Technical Conference on Sewage Works, Tokyo/Japan, 26-28 July 2005
Optimum staffing trials based on activity based costing analysis in newly merged municipalities. (in Japanese)

  A new strategic management program for wastewater service was prepared just before the expected merger of three small municipalities. The optimum staffing and its corresponding operations improvement was proposed based on the activity based costing analysis: 20 operating personnel instead of the present 22 to be recommended; the necessary process improvement to comprise of (a) establishing a standardized inspection method of sewer laterals, (b) contracting out of data collection necessary for billing beneficiary charges and (c) reorganizing the missions of both the head office and branches.

Presented at the 42nd Annual Technical Conference on Sewage Works, Tokyo/Japan, 26-28 July 2005
New framework of beneficiary charge suitable for rural municipalities and its application.
(in Japanese)

  Traditional beneficiary charge for wastewater service has been billed in proportion to the benefitted property size, but some adjustment is necessary in rural communities to avoid extraordinarily high charge. Uniform charge to every household is thus adopted in many rural municipalities that have recently started providing wastewater services, but it also requires adjustment in suburbanized communities to avoid the higher charges to newcomers who own relatively small estates. A simulational study was conducted to develop the proper adjustment in a suburbanized municipality with the following conclusion: (a) the uniform charge plus the proportional charge up to a given size ( e.g. 800 square meters) of benefitted property; (b) liable person shall be identified per each sewer lateral; (c) a liable representative person shall be appointed where a single sewer lateral is shared by more than one owner of benefitted property which is often the case in rural communities.

Presented at the 56th Annual Technical Conference on Water Works, Yonago/Japan, 18-20 May 2005
Control of raw water contamination risk for water supply service using pollutant release and transfer register database.
(in Japanese)

  23 of all 50 substances listed in the Japanese Drinking Water Quality Standards are registered in PRTR database, of which six substances are selected to assess the applicability of PRTR data to control the raw water contamination risk: selenium and boron from metals; phenols, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene from organic compounds. Selenium, phenols, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene can easily be traced back to specific effluents of like chemical industry or wastewater treatment plants, hence it is important to identify the potential on-site sources while monitoring the corresponding PRTR data. Boron is traceable to various industrial effluents of which potential sources are not easy to be identified, hence the utilization of PRTR data is limited in this case.