ERRA Training Course: Introduction to Water Utility Regulation


Economic, legal, technical and financial skills are central to the administrative and economic regulation of the public utilities. Professional development in water regulation requires a working knowledge of regulatory economics, an understanding of policy impacts and the ability to navigate national policy processes, and effective agency management of the legal and organizational processes necessary for adequate “due-process” protection in regulatory activities.

ERRA realized the importance of training in order to promote better regulatory practices in member countries as well as across the region and started its first in-house training program in 2003. To date the ERRA training initiative features a variety of junior to advanced level courses. (Until now about 1300 regulators participated in various ERRA training programs.) In the past these training programs were only available to ERRA members but as of 2007 ERRA would like to offer its training courses to non-member organizations as well. The Introduction to Water Utility Regulation is a new element of the ERRA overall training programs, and builds on the experience and evaluation results of 50 past courses.

Objective of the Course:

The course features 5 days dedicated to the core responsibilities and activities of water utility regulatory authorities with regard to the oversight of the regulated utilities, principles and practices of tariff setting, performance benchmarking, and new developments in the regulation of the sector.

The level of the course is introductory: it aims to provide basic, but comprehensive training to the personnel of water regulatory authorities and water utilities. Participants will gain knowledge on key economic concepts guiding the operation of the sector, the challenges faced by sector participants including the wider problems of water management, and the role of the regulator and regulatory models including best practices. A core theme of the course is tariff setting and approval by the regulator: theoretical lessons will be supplemented by case study examples and a tariff setting exercise. Sufficient time will also be dedicated to the role of performance benchmarking in regulation.

Main themes of the Training Course:

  • Water Utility Economics
  • Principles and Institutions of Water Utility Regulation
  • Tariff Setting
  • Performance Benchmarking
  • New Developments and Emerging Issues in Water Utility Regulation

Course Faculty Team:

  • András KIS – Course Director; Chief Analyst, Water Economics Unit, Regional Center for Energy Policy Research (REKK), Hungary
  • Isabela ANDRADE – Deputy Head of the Legal Department, Portuguese Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority (ERSAR), Portugal
  • Carla CHIARETTI – Policy Officer for European Affairs, EurEau
  • Stjepan GABRIC – Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank
  • Péter KOTEK – Research Associate, REKK, Hungary
  • Károly KOVÁCS – President, European Water Association (EWA), President, Hungarian Wastewater Association
  • Paul MCGOWAN– Commissioner, Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Ireland
  • Nadim MULHEM – Head of Water Programme in Yemen Palestine, GIZ
  • Mart OTS – General Director, Estonian Competition Authority, Estonia
  • Nasse QAHTANI – Vice Governor for Regulatory Affairs, Electricity and Co-generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Saudi Arabia
  • Szilvia SZALÓKI – Vice-President for Public Services, Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority, Hungary
  • Ágnes TÖRŐCSIK – Research Associate, Regional Center for Energy Policy Research, Hungary
  • Gábor UNGVÁRI – Research Economist, Regional Center for Energy Policy Research, Hungary


The Course was attended by 19 participants, from the following countries: Belgium, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lesotho, Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu.