Water industry regulation—Ofwat
Water industry regulation—Ofwat

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Water industry regulation—Ofwat
  • Territorial extent and application
  • Other relevant regulatory bodies
  • Regulatory framework
  • Duties of Ofwat
  • Strategic policy statement
  • Primary duty to secure long-term resilience
  • Regulatory approach
  • Pricing
  • Charging Rules and guidance
  • More...

This Practice Note sets out the key legal issues pertaining to the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) and regulation of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales.

Part 2 of the Water Act 2003 (WA 2003) amends Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA 1991) to establish a Water Services Regulation Authority.

Ofwat is a regulatory body and a non-ministerial government department. It is responsible for ensuring that the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales provide customers with good and efficient service at a fair price. Ofwat was created as a result of the privatisation of the water and sewerage sectors under the Water Act 1989 (WA 1989).

In December 2011, the UK government published Water for life a white paper setting out the government’s overarching policies for sustainable water management in England through 2030 and beyond. This included plans to introduce a new retail market for water and sewerage services to allow customers to switch from their local monopoly water company to another water supplier. See Water Bill - reform of the water industry and A level playing field for the water market—a discussion document.

Since 1 April 2017 eligible English and Scottish businesses and non-household customers have been able to choose their preferred supplier of water and wastewater retail services. See Water industry regulation—Ofwat—Reform of the water market—implementing retail competition.

The water sector

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