How can regulatory authorities enable resilience and sustainable development? The answer includes nature

The 5th International Water Regulators Forum (IWRF) welcomes high level regulatory authorities and officials with regulatory and supervisory functions related to the provision of water, sanitation and wastewater management services. This year we continue facilitating peer-to-peer dialogue and learning across regulatory functions –economic, health, environment and quality of service–; and bridging regulators across the sector and, especially, with the research, science and technology communities, to enable the innovation and collaboration for the water wise world we want.

This 5th International Water Regulators Forum builds on previous editions to address the SDG challenge towards water-related ecosystems and their services (SDG 6.6 and 15.1) by 2030, to reach resilient and sustainable universal access to water and sanitation for all. 

Today, cities like Cape Town –internationally recognized by their efforts in water management, but now struggling with running out of water, the “Day Zero”– remind us that natural systems underpins resiliency for water and wastewater services. Action towards nature-based solutions for resiliency does not need to stop here; if we look at nature as a source of inspiration and capability, then novel nature-based solutions can be strategically planned and engineered to provide solutions for current and future water problems in cities and basins.

The Forum is an invite only event with exception of the closing plenary. Invitees are also required to register through the Congress system.


The 5th IWRF is organized in two closed sessions and one open plenary, followed by a series of sessions throughout the week (see itinerary at the below).

Closed sessions are invite only meetings.  These sessions are structured to maximize interaction amongst participants; sessions commence with short plenary presentations to introduce key topics, followed by roundtable discussions. All sessions conclude with a round of key messages from each table and finalise with a plenary discussion.
The open plenary is designed to leverage dialogue incorporating high level policy and decisions makers to focus on how to enable collaborative governance and inform effective water wise policies.

Get involved

*An IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2018 registration is compulsory for Forum attendees.

*Please ensure you are logged to IWA-Connect.


Nature based systems (NBS) can be robust and adaptive in the face of ongoing environmental change, and because they use natural inputs and structures they can also be inexpensive and self-repairing. The down sides of nature based systems are that they are complex and may evolve in ways we cannot control or predict. They can be impacted by non-chosen actors, like disease, invasive species, and implemented processes.  NBS may take a long time to grow and produce benefits, making interim controls still necessary, which can be hard to defend in sponsor budgets. NBS approaches can involve different layers of government and must take into account the diverse stakeholder views while promoting environmental, economic, societal and financial sustainability.

In the following sessions participants will explore the role of regulation and of regulators in implementing NBS for resilient water systems.

Session 1 | 10:30 – 12:00 | Room 101
Are existing regulatory models, institutions and professionals ready for the challenge?
Chair: Kelvin Chitumbo, Director National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Zambia
Ms Jean Spencer, Executive Director, Strategic Growth and Resilience, Anglian Water Services Limited, United Kingdom
Dr Kevin Parks, Chief Geologist at the Alberta Energy Regulator, Canada
Mr Alberto Biancardi, 
President of WAREG (European Water Regulators), Italy
Mr Trevor Bishop, Director Strategy and Policy, Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT), England and Wales, United Kingdom

Session 2 | 13:30 – 15:00| Room 101
Sustainable financing and economic resilience of the services
Chair: Ms. Thalita Salgado Fagundes, Regulatory Agency for Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Services of the Catchment Areas of the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí Rivers (ARES-PCJ), Brazil
Ms Maria Rafaela Matos, Principal Researcher, LNEC, on behalf of José Paixão Moreira Sá Fernandes, Lisbon Councillor for Environment, Green Structure, Climate and Energy, Portugal
Mr Seamus Parker, Executive Director, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Australia
Ms Vanessa Fernanda Schmidt, Chief Executive, AGIR, on behalf of José Bento Da Rocha, Energy and Basic Sanitation Agency of the Federal District (ADASA), Brasilia, Brazil
Mr Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive, Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), United Kingdom

Session 3 | 15:45-17:15| Reception Hall B
Open High Level Plenary: enabling resilience and sustainable development. How can policies help?
Moderator: Ms. Carolina Latorre, IWA Water Policy and Regulation, The Netherlands
Keynote: Hon. Lucky Jayawardena, State Minister of Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply, Sri Lanka
Words by IWA: Ms Diane D´Arras, President of IWA, France

Panel Part I – from Policy to Practice:
Mr James Kumwenda, on behalf of Hon. Joseph Mwanamvekha (MP), Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Malawi
Hon. Mlungisi Lulu Johnson, Chairman Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
Mr Tan Yew Chong, Secretary General, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources, Malaysia
Mr Tadashige Kawasaki, NARBO Secretariat, Water Resources Engineering Department and Japan Water Agency, Japan
Mr Bruno Tisserand, EurEau President European federation of national water services, Belgium

Panel Part II – Linking Practice to Policy:
Mr Adrian Sym, CEO, The Alliance for Water Stewardship
Mr Mohammad Said Al Hmaidi, CEO, WSRC, Palestine
Mr Pranav S. Joshi, Senior Assistant Director (Drinking Water Unit) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of the National Environment Agency, Singapore
Mr John J. Batten III, Global Cities Director for Arcadis, China

Programme committee

Recommendations for the week

Water Regulation around the world