Our duties

The duties for most of our work as the economic regulator of the water sector are laid down in section 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA91) as amended.

© Primejyothi – Protect the interest of consumers

Our duties

Under section 2 of WIA91 as amended, we must carry out most of our work as an economic regulator in the way we consider will best:

  • further the consumer objective to protect the interests of consumers, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition
  • secure that water companies (meaning water and sewerage undertakers) properly carry out their statutory functions
  • secure that water companies can (in particular through securing reasonable returns on their capital) finance the proper carrying out of their statutory functions
  • secure that licensed persons properly carry out their licensed activities and statutory functions
  • further the resilience objective to secure the long-term resilience of water companies’ water supply and wastewater systems; and to secure that they take steps to enable them, in the long term, to meet the need for water supplies and wastewater services

We also

Subject to our main duties above, we must also regulate in the way we consider will best:

  • promote economy and efficiency by water companies in their work
  • secure that no undue preference or discrimination is shown by water companies in fixing charges
  • secure that no undue preference or discrimination is shown by water companies in relation to the provision of services by themselves or other licensed persons
  • secure that consumers’ interests are protected where water companies sell land
  • ensure that consumers’ interests are protected in relation to any unregulated activities of water companies
  • contribute to the achievement of sustainable development

We must also have regard to the principles of best regulatory practice.

Licensed Infrastructure Providers

We also have similar duties to those that apply in relation to water companies when regulating licensed infrastructure providers, such as Tideway. This is set out in the Water Industry (Specified Infrastructure Providers) (English Undertakers) Regulations 2013