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Law No. 17 of 2019 on Water Resources.

Type of law

The present Law, consisting of 79 articles divided into 16 Chapters, establishes the basic legislation on Water Resources Management. The Law aims at regulating the following activities: a) provide protection and guarantee the fulfillment right to water; b) guarantee the sustainability and the availability of water resources in order to provide fair benefits to the community; c) guarantee the preservation of water resources functions to support the sustainability of development; d) guarantee the creation of legal infrastructures for the implementation of community participation in the supervision of the water resources use from planning, implementation, and evaluation of utilization; e) guarantee the protection and empowerment of the community, including indigenous peoples in the conservation of water resources; and f) control the overall damage to water sector which includes prevention, mitigation and recovery efforts.
The scope of Water Resources basic law includes: state control and people's right to water; duties and competent authority for water resources management; water resources management; licensing; water resources information system; empowerment and supervision; funding; rights and obligations; society participation; and coordination. Water Resources are controlled by the state and used for the greatest prosperity of the people. The state guarantees the people's right to water in order to meet the minimum daily basic needs for a healthy life with sufficient quantity, good quality, safe, sustainable, and affordable water resources. Water Resources cannot be owned or controlled by individuals, community groups, or business entities. The people's right to water is guaranteed to be fulfilled by the state as referred to in Article 6. In addition, the state prioritizes the people's right to water as follows: a) basic daily needs; b) irrigated agriculture; and c) use of water resources for business to meet daily basic needs through the Drinking Water Supply System. In the case of sufficient water availability, after the first priority order the next priority order is: a) use of water resources to meet non-business activities in the public interest; and b) the use of water resources for other business needs that have been licensed.
In setting priorities for fulfilling water as referred to in paragraph (5) the central government or regional government must first take into account the need for water for the maintenance of water resources and the environment. Rights to water do not constitute ownership rights to Water, but are limited to the right to obtain and use a number of water quotas in accordance with the allocations stipulated by a Government Regulation. Further provisions regarding the use of Water Resources to meet daily basic needs, community agriculture, and business needs to meet daily basic needs through the Drinking Water Supply System, as referred to in paragraph (2). Water resources use licensing, regulated by art. 49(3) requires the following order of priorities fulfillment: basic daily needs of groups that require large volumes of water; basic daily needs in a way that changes the natural condition of a water source; needs of smallholders who are not served by an existing irrigation system; needs of public water supply systems; water needs of non-commercial facilities related to the public interest; water needs of public enterprises (state, local government and village enterprises) for commercial purposes; and finally the use of water resources for commercial purposes by a private enterprise or individual.
The Law is divided as follows: General Requirements (Chap. I); Scope of Settings (Chap. II); Country Power and People's Right to Water (Chap. III); Duties and Authority (Chap. IV); Management of Water Resources (Chap. V); Licensing (Chap. VI); Water Resources Information System (Chap. VII); Empowerment and Supervision (Chap. VIII); Funding Rights and (Chap. IX); Obligations (Chap. X); Society Participation (Chap. XI); Coordination (Chap. XII); Investigations (Chap. XIII); Offences and Penalties (Chap. XIV); Transitional Provisions (Chap. XV); Final Provisions (Chap. XVI).
Date of text
Entry into force notes
This Law enters into force on 16 October 2019.
Source language


Legislation Amendment