Project duration:

2013 - 2015

Compendium of Water Quality Regulatory Frameworks: Which Water for Which Use?

Promoting Efficient Water Use – State of the Art Overview of Water Quality Guidelines and Standards Worldwide.

The Compendium of Water Quality Regulatory Frameworks is an overview and analysis of a variety of selected water quality guidelines, standards and regulatory frameworks for different uses and geographical regions. The overall objective is to
contribute towards improving access to information on water quality requirements for different uses, promoting efficient use and, ultimately, reducing water use conflicts. The Compendium offers an integrated and descriptive analysis of each selected law and policy, while also considering complementary instruments,
management approaches and lessons learned on implementation.

The immediate target group of the Compendium are public officials and regulators – decision makers at large. 

The development process of the Compendium has also established a network of water quality experts and practitioners promoting the wise use of different water qualities for various purposes. The Compendium can also be used by a wider audience of water quality experts, practitioners, academia and the general public.

The Compendium contains a selection of recent water quality guidelines and standards for different uses. These guidelines and standards adopt various forms – binding and non-binding – with common characteristics and approaches that make them innovative, practical and effective in promoting the wise use of water resources.

The selected instruments are from a variety of sectors including drinking water, agriculture, bathing water, ecosystems and hydropower. Examples from each region provide an overview of current water quality instruments applicable at different geographical scales.

Navigate around the map and click on the markers* to read the case studies.

* The red markers show case studies addressing water quality issues on a specific country, and the green markers describe case studies addressing water quality issues caused by climate change in a transboundary context.

The “Compendium of Water Quality Regulatory Frameworks: Which Water for Which Use?” was launched at the IWA Water and Development Congress, on October 19thTo date, the Compendium comprises 46 law and policy instruments, which have been analysed in more depth. Together, they cover a comprehensive range of water uses.

Now available also in Mandarin.

For a thorough analysis on the impacts of climate change on water quality and the responsiveness of current regulatory instruments, check out:

Cross, K and Latorre, C. 2015. Which water for which use? Exploring water quality instruments in the context of a changing climate. Aquatic Procedia 5, 104-110


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Latest updates

June 14, 2016
Water quality issues are complex and dynamic in nature and need urgent attention and action. Improving efficiency of water use requires regulatory frameworks th...
January 8, 2016
Lakes in Malaysia (both natural and artificial systems) provide much of the water that Malaysians drink and use to nourish their land, to grow and produce their...
January 6, 2016
The spreading and sharing of ideas, technical innovations and scientific knowledge between geographically distant peoples has been one of the central benefits o...
Carolina Latorre
Senior Officer