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  • Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) introduced a robust Water Services Regulation Strategy for the water sector, which intended to:
    • Clarify the requirements and obligations placed on Water Services Institutions, thereby protecting consumers from a potentially unsustainable and unsafe service.
    • set and/or interpret rules, standards and, where relevant, grant approvals for the water sector.
    • monitor compliance, analyse and publish results promote transparency and confidence in the actions of the Regulator.
    • make determinations, enforce decisions and intervene where necessary.
  • In addition, the Regulator creates an environment that is conducive to sustainable investment and operations of this capital intensive sector.
    • In 2008, DWS launched a Regulatory Strategy and introduced an Incentive-based Regulation, which monitors, supports and incentivize Water Services Authorities, on the performance of their Water Services’ function.

This concept was defined by two programmes: the Blue Drop Certification Programme for Drinking Water Quality Management Regulation; and the Green Drop Certification Programme for Wastewater Quality Management Regulation.

Blue Drop System was originally designed with five (5) Key Performance Areas, which changed over time. For any WSA to achieve a blue drop needed to obtain overall score of ≥ 95% with the Water Quality compliance as per SANS 241, within the total water services value chain.

The process followed some virtual assessments being done, where municipalities had  to upload their Portfolio of Evidence onto the Blue Drop System. It is worth mentioning that this requires a joint effort between the operators of the total services infrastructure, from treatment to consumption. AW’s responsibility is mainly on the treatment and distribution of bulk water, from the source, up to the distribution reservoirs, then the WSA is responsible to distribute further, whilst ensuring compliance.