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Water industry regulation

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Policies on water supply and regulation, the Consumer Council for Water, water charges and affordability issues.

Competition in the water industry: Water supply licensing


The Water Act 2003 amends the Water Industry Act 1991 to extend opportunities for competition in the water industry across Wales and England.

Non-household customers who use, or are likely to use, at least 50ML (megalitres) of water a year at each premises can now able choose their water supplier from new companies entering the market.

These new companies are known as licensees. They can supply water subject to their obtaining a licence from the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) (external link).

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999

The Water Fittings Regulations are national requirements for the design, installation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances. They prevent:

  • misuse
  • waste
  • undue consumption
  • erroneous measurement 
  • contamination of drinking water.

The Regulations are enforced by the Water Companies and administered through the Water Regulations Advisory Service (external link).The Water Regulations Advisory Service promotes the Water Regulations, provide an advisory service and an interface between manufacturers, installers, water suppliers and Government.

Memorandum of Understanding between Welsh Ministers and the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)

The Memorandum required under the Water Industry Act 1991, as amended by the Water Act 2003. The Act places a duty on Ofwat and Welsh Ministers to make arrangements to co-operate, communicate and treat matters consistently. This memorandum was agreed on 10 December 2010.