Regulation and assessment

Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Defra is the body responsible for all aspects of water policy in England.

Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (part of Defra) is responsible for ensuring that drinking water supplies in the UK meet the required standards.

Inspectors carry out technical audits of all the water companies, including:

  • checks on water quality
  • sampling procedures
  • treatment processes
  • distribution systems

They also provide information and advice on the quality of drinking water.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for maintaining or improving the quality of fresh, marine, surface and underground water in England and Wales.

Its aim is to remove or reduce the risk of water pollution, and ensure any pollution that affects ecosystems or people gets cleaned up.

Independent organisations

Office of Water Services

The Office of Water Services (Ofwat) is an independent body responsible for the economic regulation of the water industry in England and Wales.