Our duties

The duties for most of our work as an economic regulator are laid down in section 2 of the Water…

Our five-year business plan

This sets out our overall approach for delivering our strategy over the next five years.

Our forward programme

This sets out what we will deliver in the next year.

What we do

© Dan Wong
© Dan Wong


Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales. We work with the water companies and other stakeholders to deliver trust and confidence in water and wastewater services among customers, investors and society as a whole.

This means that our work is varied – it ranges from technical engineering issues to customer liaison.

We've been delivering successful regulation since privatisation of the sector in 1989. But we don't stand still. We're continuing to evolve our approach to ensure that customers get the best deal. This means that our work is challenging, stimulating and fast-paced.

Richard Khaldi, Senior Director of Customers and Casework explains more about what we do.

Our programmes

We deliver our work through a number of programmes and projects, and are currently carrying out work in the following areas. You can find out more about our work by looking at our duties, our business plan and our forward programme.

Strategy and Planning

Our strategy needs to drive business activity – both within Ofwat and within the water sector as a whole. We also constantly monitor our own progress towards our goals and those of the companies we regulate.


Where an issue arises that can’t be solved directly between a customer and a supplier, we can investigate the issue and determine a fair dispute resolution. We use our determination and enforcement powers to protect customers and to encourage suppliers to improve the way markets work within the water sector.

Finance and Governance

We have a responsibility to help water companies demonstrate appropriate levels of financial resilience and customer service. We also monitor changes in company ownership to make sure that they are in customers’ best interests.

Retail Market Opening

We are currently working with other key stakeholders to open the market for business, charity and public sector customers in England (and eligible customers in Wales) in April 2017. This will enable them to choose their water services supplier.

Water 2020

Our work in this area involves developing future markets and regulation to deliver reform within the sector. Our emphasis is on the five-yearly price reviews, the next of which will take place in 2019.

Thames Tideway

Our role with this work is to set out the framework for regulating the construction for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, in the best interest of customers, the environment and wider society.

Business Transformation

We want to make Ofwat the most efficient and effective organisation it can be to support the delivery of our strategy for the good of the sector – and for customers.

Compliance and Assurance

We have a responsibility to monitor the behaviour of the companies we regulate. Our role is to make sure that they comply with the terms and conditions of their licences and that they treat their customers fairly. But we also have to demonstrate that we comply with our own obligations and policies in a transparent manner, and meet our stakeholders’ expectations.

Our people say

Brigitte Gaylor

Senior Associate, Casework

“I chose Ofwat because I wanted to work not far from where I live and do something which matches my skill set.

“The flexibility here is second to none, and the culture of trust that we have developed not only works from the way we regulate but filters down to the way we do things here too. Our work is as exciting as it is challenging and every day is different – for me, it certainly is an intellectual playground! Our ways of working are revolutionary and for me; it’s a privilege to be here.”

Brigitte has a BA (Hons) in Economics. She has previously worked at the Central Bank of the Seychelles.