COVID-19: The Regulators’ Response

IWA Water Regulators

Target Audience

General public; Practitioners in WASH sector; Representatives of regulatory agencies, industry, research and science communities


Amid the COVID-19 crisis we have seen added pressure on the ability of water utilities to provide water and sanitation services. Risks to treatment, if utilities are not able to recover costs through tariffs, or supply risks due to fuel shortages – for example.

The outbreak of the Corona Virus pandemic has severely struck countries all over the world. Under this scenario, water and wastewater regulators have provided immediate responses to protect customers and regulated companies, while drafting strategies with local governments and the private sector for continuing access to water throughout the crisis. Approaches, challenges and results differ but in all cases, the outcomes of this crisis will change the way we regulate services in the future.

In this IWA Online Panel, we will revise regulators’ response to this emergency and explore the potential consequences that such responses will have in the way we regulate in the future.

Learning Objectives

– What new challenges pose the current health crisis (COVID-19) in the regulation of water, sanitation and wastewater treatment services?
– How are regulators responding to these challenges and, in particular, what has been the articulation between actors (mainly government and agencies)?
– How are regulation and regulators protecting essential services and customers?
– Examples from Italy, Hong Kong, Brazil and Portugal, with additional perspectives for Europe
– How is the crisis today shaping the way in which the sector will be regulated tomorrow?


International Water Association


  • Sai-wai Chau – Deputy Director, Water Supplies Department, Hong Kong SAR Government
  • Ana Albuquerque – Member, Executive Board of the Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority
  • Andrea Guerrini – Commissioner, Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment; President, Association of European Water Regulators
  • Dr. Jorge Werneck – Director, Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Basic Sanitation of the Federal District (Adasa); Vice-President, Brazilian Association of Regulatory Agencies (ABAR); Governor, World Water Council (WWC)
  • moderated by Carolina Latorre Aravena – IWA Senior Officer