EPA has developed a Resource Guide to Effective Utility Management and Lean based on input and examples from several utilities. The guide explains how utilities can use these two important and complementary approaches to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness. Effective utility management provides a common management framework to help water and wastewater systems build and sustain the technical, managerial and financial capacity needed to ensure sustainable operations. While the focus is on outcomes water sector utilities should strive to achieve, there is also a need to demonstrate how other well-accepted tools can help utilities achieve these outcomes by improving efficiency, reducing waste in their operations, and improving other areas of performance. One set of tools involves the use of Lean techniques. Lean is a business-improvement approach focused on eliminating non-value added activity or "waste" using practical, implementation-based methods.