Effective management of the water cycle requires a robust, locally appropriate regulatory framework that enables service providers to meet the demands of consumers without compromising environmental or financial integrity: that is providing services that are not detrimental to the environment and at a price that confers financial viability for the utility.
IWA has a strong history of establishing global frameworks for water management, developed in consultation with global leaders across different segments of the sector. One such framework is the Bonn Charter for Safe Drinking Water, developed over the period of 2001-2004 with inputs from utilities, regulators, researchers and other practitioners. There is no doubt that the contributions of regulators and regulatory experts were critical to this endeavour.
With this in mind, IWA is establishing a portfolio of activities that bring regulators together and enable them to contribute to IWA activities, outputs and outcomes - called the Regulators Forum. The scope of the Forum will span the spectrum of regulatory issues related to the water cycle and in particular target regulatory authorities responsible for tariff, environmental and health regulation.
Whilst the scope of the Forum is broad, there are some priority areas of thematic focus which will underpin much of the activities and discussion within the Forum, these include:
- Innovation: Examining bottlenecks and enablers for innovation that contribute to improving service delivery;
- Sustainable financing: From abstraction to pollution; evaluating true costs for service delivery and instruments to finance them;
- Resource optimisation: Working across regulatory frameworks to optimise the use and recovery of water, energy and nutrients;
- Human rights based approaches: Working the interface between consumers / civil society and service providers to ensure the human right to water and sanitation is implemented.