Water Policy and Regulation

Available and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all relies upon the collective action of interdependent stakeholders, playing their role effectively and efficiently. Transitioning to such a water wise world starts with people –people that informs and implements the right enabling environment.

The Water Policy and Regulation agenda cuts across all areas of work at IWA, connecting regulatory authorities and practitioners to inform and implement an enabling environment that makes the water wise vision possible.

We do this guided by the Lisbon Charter by facilitating peer-to-peer dialogue and learning across regulatory functions –economic, health, environment and quality of service–; and collaborative governance, across sectors and especially with the research, science and technology communities.

If you wish to contribute to and engage with this work, join us on IWA Connect.

The International Water Regulators Forum 


Regulatory authorities can have a positive and catalytic impact on delivering water services. IWA is home to the International Water Regulators Forum (IWRF) that welcomes regulatory authorities and officials with regulatory and supervisory functions in the water, sanitation and wastewater management services, supporting their increasingly important role in achieving global sustainable development. To date, the IWRF has successfully gathered in Lisbon (2014) – inspiring the Lisbon Charter –, London (2015), Brisbane (2016), Buenos Aires (2017),  Tokyo (2018), and virtually in 2021 – reaching regulatory institutions from over 90 jurisdictions in all continents, reaching to over 120 regulatory institutions from more than 90 jurisdictions in all continents, becoming a one of a kind global network of regulators that IWA is proud to host.



Human Rights to Water and Sanitation

Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all is a progressive task that has its foundations in proper planning. Translating this goal into operational terms for regulators and suppliers requires rethinking targets for coverage, water quality, service levels, cost recovery, operation and maintenance (O&M) and emergency preparedness. Read more about our work and join us.




Regulating for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation

Various factors and frameworks over recent years have shone a spotlight on the need to manage the full sanitation chain in a sustainable manner, from toilet to waste disposal, through citywide inclusive sanitation. The “Regulating for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation” initiative aims to identify the needs, opportunities and tools for regulators’ contribution to achieving citywide inclusive sanitation as part of the path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about our work and how to engage with us.



Connecting to the international research community

The analytical perspective of the research community can give insights to practitioners in realising the root cause of the regulatory challenges, identify major institutional barriers, and set the milestone for actions. To bring in this perspective into the global dialogue through IWA’s platform and the IWRF, we closely work with our members and Specialist Groups across disciplines. Connect with our activities and Working Groups:

Latest Updates

March 21, 2023
As part of its activities and support for World Water Day 2023 (22 March), the International Water Association (IWA) is hosting a side event at the UN Headquart...
This year’s World Water Day acts as a reminder for everyone to take action to secure progress on water and sanitation. This year’s theme of Accelerating Cha...
March 9, 2023
We are thrilled to announce that the International Water Association will co-host and participate in a wide range of events during the UN Water Conference i...
November 22, 2022
This webinar was organised by the Earth Observation (EO) for Water Management Community of Practice, a subgroup of the IWA Digital Water Programme.   The digit...
September 2, 2022
The final programme of the 7th International Water Regulators Programme is now available. Download the PDF. Programme Theme: Regulating water services in times ...
14 Sep - 15 Sep 2022 Denmark/Copenhagen
14/09/2022 12:00:00 15 Sep 2022 18:00:00 Europe/London 7th International Water Regulators Forum IWA Event Copenhagen - Denmark International Water Association contact@iwa.net
October 19, 2021
The Regulating for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Call to Action is now available in Czech and Portuguese. For more information, please visit the CWIS project pa...
July 27, 2021
Water professionals are facing many challenges resulting from unpredictable patterns and global change, namely: uncertainty posed by climate change, disruptive ...
July 5, 2021
Water is the core element to sustaining human life, needed not only for human consumption but also for food, energy, and industrial production, which eventually...
William Cappuyns
Membership Engagement Officer (Regulation & Utilities)