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Regulatory Model

ERSAR is responsible for ensuring an integrated regulatory approach to water and waste services. This approach is materialized through a regulation model that encompasses two major intervention plans - the structural regulation of the sectors and the behavioural regulation of the operators.

Structural Regulation

  • Sector regulation
Regulation should contribute towards the formulation of better public policies, rationalization and resolution of possible dysfunctions within regulated services. It should also promote increased efficiency and the search for economies of scale, scope and process.

  • Legislation
ERSAR contributes to the clarification of the operating rules of the services, by proposing draft legislation and by issuing regulations and recommendations.

  • Information disclosure
ERSAR coordinates, collects, validates, processes and publishes relevant information about the sector and the service providers, promoting the accessibility and transparency of information.

  • Capacity building
ERSAR aims to foster the technical knowledge of service providers and other stakeholders, by publishing technical guides, holding training sessions and promoting seminars and conferences.​

​Behavioural Regulation


  • ​Legal and contractual
ERSAR monitors compliance of service providers with the relevant legal and contractual rules, throughout their life cycle (creation and modification of public systems, selection of service provider, celebration, modification and
termination of contracts), issuing recommendations, promoting mediation of conflicts and imposing penalties, when applicable.

  • ​Economic regulation
ERSAR supervises prices with the aim of safeguarding the existence of efficient and affordable tariffs for consumers, promoting the necessary balance towards the economic and financial sustainability of the service providers.

  • Quality of service
ERSAR regulates the quality of water and waste services provided to customers, evaluating the service providers' performance and comparing them with each other, through the application of a benchmarking system to foster effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Drinking water quality
Regulation of drinking water quality encompasses the approval of the service providers' water quality control programmes and supervision of its implementation, in liaison with health authorities, as well as the assessment and benchmark of providers.

  • ​Consumer protection
ERSAR supervises how service providers handle their customers, by assessing customer complaints, informing them about their rights, mediating conflicts between the parties or promoting consumer arbitration.