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News Palestine: New Water Law Endorsed

The President of State of Palestine issues a decree endorsing the new Water Law which is considered the result of Water Sector Reform Program that is led by Palestinian Water Authority over the last four years.

H.E Dr. Shaddad Al Attili Head of PWA stated that the issuance of the new law establishes for a new phase for the water and wastewater sector, its governance and management, as the law states that the Water Authority will be under the responsibility of the Cabinet which goes in line with the basic law for having the authorities under the Cabinet umbrella. In addition the law will split ministerial from regulatory functions, which was previously carried out by PWA since its establishment. The new water law grants the establishment of Water Sector Regulatory Council independent from PWA. The Regulatory Council will be established by the Cabinet and will have a Board of Director derived from the public sector, private sector and civil society. Its mandate makes it responsible for water prices and monitoring the performance of Water and Wastewater Service Providers. It will issue licenses for operators to establish the infrastructure needed to supply, desalinate and treat water and set the framework for quality assurance of services and manage consumer complaints. It will set the foundations to represent service providers in Regional Water Utilities and in addition, monitor the performance of Bulk Service Providers and ensure that their services are compliant with the accepted standards.

The Water Law includes directives to transform the West Bank Water Department into a governmental company which will be owned by the State of Palestine. For this reason the Law states PWA need to develop a temporary Bylaw to facilitate this transitional period (transfer the West Bank Water Department into a company) and will provide a mechanism to transfer the assets to the Governmental Company. The Law also states that the company legal status will not change except by a Law. It is responsible for supplying Bulk Water and any tasks as assigned by the Water Authority. The Governmental Company will have Board of Director formed by the Cabinet based on recommendations from the Head of the Palestinian Water Authority
The new law gives PWA the mandate, supported by a bylaw endorsed by the Cabinet, for establishment of Regional Water Utilities and Water User Associations.

The Law includes articles protecting water resources and defined protection zones. In addition, monitoring of water resources and provides the head of PWA the mandate to provide judicial policy. It also contains articles which allows for sanctions for the infringement of Water resources. 
The Law provides for the need to present the decree of law to legislation council in its first session for endorsing the law and subsequently revoking all previous nominated legislation pertaining to that law.

In this context, H. E Dr. Shaddad Al Attili thanked all donor that have contributed to support the reform, and the capacity building program that aimed since its establishment to straighten out the situation of the water sector and organize the work of its institutions, which resulted in the issuance of this law, which came in line with the vision of the Water Authority and its work to improve the water sector through the clear working mechanism and the presence of a law that is binding and in line with Memorandum of Understanding signed between the donor countries and the Prime Minister.

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information Palestinian Water Authority (PWA)
Keyword(s) Water Law
Geographical coverage Palestine,
News date 20/06/2014
Working language(s) ENGLISH