Water Policy and Regulation

Sustainable management of water and sanitation for all relies upon the collective action of interdependent stakeholders, playing their roles effectively and efficiently. Transitioning to a water-wise world starts with people – people who inform and implement the right enabling environment.

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

Our work is guided by the Lisbon Charter which facilitates peer-to-peer dialogue and learning across regulatory functions (economic, health, environment and quality of service) and collaborative governance across sectors, especially between policy, practice and research.

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

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) which 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), online (2021), Copenhagen (2022), and in Kigali (2023)– reaching regulatory institutions from over 90 jurisdictions in all continents, becoming 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 with 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 spotlighted the need to manage the full sanitation chain sustainably, from the 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 research community’s analytical perspective can give practitioners insights into realising the root cause of the regulatory challenges, identify major institutional barriers, and set objectives. IWA build on this through its network, Specialist Groups, Community of Practise and the IWRF, working closely with its members across disciplines.

Past activities and engagements:

Latest Updates

April 9, 2024
With preparations progressing for the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in August 2024, the Programme Committee of the International Water Regulators Foru...
Isabela Espindola
Senior Officer (YWPs and Water Policy & Regulation) - Strategic Programmes & Membership Engagement