Regulatory policy

The Governance of Water Regulators

In series:OECD Studies on Waterview more titles

Published on April 13, 2015

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The establishment of dedicated regulatory bodies in charge of regulating water services, whilst being recent, is nevertheless a consistent trend among OECD and non-OECD countries. This report presents a picture as of September 2014 of the governance arrangements, operational modalities and use of regulatory tools across a sample of 34 established water regulators. It relies on the OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy: The Governance of Regulators to structure the information collected through a survey exercise. It has been developed in close co-operation with the OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER).

The results from the survey show that the 34 water regulators show generally a high level of adoption of good governance principles and practices. They display functions and powers that are in line with their objectives. Water regulators also show a strong culture of consultation. Other areas, in particular evaluation of regulatory impacts, could be further strengthened.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword and acknowledgements
Executive summary
Overview of regulatory frameworks for water services in selected countries
Results of the OECD Survey on the Governance of Water Regulators
Water regulators factsheets34 chapters available
Albania
Armenia
Australia/Capital Territory
Australia/New South Wales
Australia/Victoria
Australia/Western Australia
Belgium/Flanders
Brazil/Rio Grande do Sul
Bulgaria
Chile
Colombia
Estonia
Hungary
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
Kosovo
Latvia
Malaysia
Mozambique
Peru
Portugal
Romania
Ukraine
United Kingdom/England and Wales
United Kingdom/Northern Ireland
United Kingdom/Scotland
United States/Hawaii
United States/Maine
United States/Ohio
United States/Pennsylvania
United States/Tennessee
United States/West Virginia
Uruguay
Annexes3 chapters available
Participants in the OECD Survey on the Governance of Water Regulators
Water tariff setting methodologies in selected territories
Selected examples of water performance indicators
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KEY FINDINGS

The OECD has worked with 34 water regulators to identify dedicated bodies set up to regulate the provision of urban drinking water and wastewater services.

The key highlights of the report show that:

  • More and more countries establish dedicated bodies to regulate water services
  • Where they exist, these water regulators are the critical link in the implementation of regulation. They are also a vector of transparency through the information on service performance that they collect and make available to all
  • The 34 water regulators have generally adopted many of the good governance principles and practices identified in the OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulators Policy: The Governance of Regulators. In particular, water regulators generally display legitimacy, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and accountability grounded in legislative instruments when it comes to their institutional settings
  • Their financial autonomy, the professionalism of their staff, the clarity of their mandate and the delineation of their responsibilities determine their integrity and the success of their mission
  • But the potential of regulators to make regulation more relevant, effective, and less costly is not exploited. Governments could better harness their culture of consultation with regulated and users to improve urban water regulation

 

RELATED WORK

 

LAUNCH OF THE REPORT IN SEOUL

The Governance of Water Regulators was launched at the 7th World Water Forum in Seoul, Korea on 13 April 2015 together with:

Water and Cities: Ensuring Sustainable Futures. This report provides guidance on how governments can ensure the financial sustainability of urban water systems, improve governance and regulatory frameworks to better implement water policies at different territorial scales, reduce barriers to the use of innovative techniques and approaches, and better link urban and rural water policies. 

Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance. This report assesses the current trends, drivers, obstacles, mechanisms, impacts, costs and benefits of stakeholder engagement in the water sector. It provides pragmatic policy guidance to decision makers and practitioners in the form of key principles and a Checklist for Public Action with indicators, international references and self-assessment questions.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please contact in the Regulatory Policy Division, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development: