The Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) is a regulatory state corporation established by the Water Act 2002, this law was repealed by the Water 2016 operationalized in April 2017. Section 70 (1) of the Water Act 2016 established Wasreb with the main objective to protect the interests and rights of consumers in the provision of water services, while ensuring other stake-holders interests are also safeguarded.
Accordingly, Wasreb sets standards and enforces regulations that guide the sector in not only ensuring that consumers are protected and have access to efficient, affordable and sustainable services, but also, provide for financial sustainability of Water Service Providers (WSPs), by allowing financing of operations, capital cost recovery and a return on capital that sustains ser-vices through ongoing investments.
The Mandate of Wasreb
Wasreb’s statutory mandate is provided for under Section 72 of the Water Act 2016. The regulator sets, monitors and reviews rules and regulations to ensure water services provision is affordable, efficient, effective, and equitable. Accordingly, the powers and functions of Wasreb under the Act are to:
- Determine and prescribe national standards for the provision of water services and asset development for water services providers.
- Evaluate and recommend water and sewerage tariffs to the county water services providers and approve the imposition of such tariffs in line with consumer protection standards.
- Set license conditions and accredit water services providers.
- Monitor and regulate licensees and enforce license conditions.
- Develop a model memorandum and articles of association to be used by all water companies applying to be licensed by the regulatory board to operate as water services providers.
- Monitor compliance with standards including the design, construction, operation and maintenance of facilities for the provision of water services by the water works development bodies and the water services providers.
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on the nature, extent and conditions of financial support to be accorded to water services providers for providing water services.
- Monitor progress in the implementation of the water strategy and make appropriate recommendation.
- Maintain a national database and information system on water services.
- Establish a mechanism for handing complaints from consumers regarding the quality or nature of water services;
- Develop guidelines on the establishment of consumer groups and facilitate their establishment.
- Inspect water works and water services to ensure that such works and services meet the prescribed standards;
- Report annually to the public on issues of water supply and sewerage services and the performance of relevant sectors and publish the reports in the gazette.
- Make regulations on water services and asset development which shall include business, investment and financing plans in order to ensure efficient and effective water services and progressive realization of the right to water services.
- Advise the cabinet secretary on any matter in connection with water services.
- Make recommendations on how to provide basic water services to marginalized areas.