Regulation in the water sector concerns flooding, wastewater discharge standards, sludge disposal, water quality, water loss, pressure, pricing and reliability. It is set by federal, state, or municipal governments. In some countries, environmental standards and leakage maxima are also enforced, while fines may also be imposed to ensure compliance. This is currently the situation in the UK water industry, where the regulator, OFWAT, forced one water utility to repay GBP 5 million to its customers after missing its leakage target. Regulation is essential for achieving long-term policy objectives, equitable treatment of all stakeholders and protection of consumers from unfair practices by water operators.
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