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Water Supply and Sanitation Act, 2019 (No. 5 of 2019).

Type of law

This Act makes provision with respect to water sustainable supply and sanitation in Tanzania and establishes the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) and the National Water Fund. The Act consists of 82 sections divided into 15 Parts: Preliminary Provisions (I); Objectives and Principles (II); Administration and Institutional Set Up (III); Water Supply and Sanitation Authorities (IV); Financial Provisions for Water Authority (V); Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (VI); Community Based Water Supply Organisations (VII); Financial Provisions for Community Based Water Supply Organisations (VIII); Monitoring and Regulation of Community Owned Water Supply Organisations (IX); Establishment of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (X); Codes of Workmanship (XI); National Water Fund (XIII); Offences and Penalties (XIII); General Provisions (XIV); Transitional Provisions (XV).
The objective of this Act is to promote and ensure the right of every person in Tanzania to have access to efficient, effective and sustainable water supply and sanitation services for all purposes by taking into account the fundamental principles of, amongst others- (a) creation of an enabling environment and appropriate incentives for the delivery of reliable, sustainable and affordable water supply and sanitation services; (b) delegation of management functions of water supply and sanitation services to the lowest appropriate levels; (c) transferring ownership of water supply schemes in rural areas to the respective communities and enabling all the beneficiaries and stakeholders to participate effectively in the management of community water supply schemes; (d) promotion of public sector and private sector partnership in provision of water supply and sanitation services; and (e) protection of water resources, public health and interests of customers. The Act refers to the National Water Policy of 2002. Also, every person or institution undertaking planning for water supply and sanitation developments under this Act, shall take into account the Integrated Water Resources Management Plans prepared under the Water Resources Management Act. At the national level administrative responsibility is assigned to the Minister responsible for water. The Act also defines responsibilities at regional and local level and Minister responsible for local government to cooperate in development of water supply and sanitation. The Minister may establish commercial water authorities and an existing water authority shall continue to operate and for all purposes and intent be treated as though it was established under this Act. A water authority shall, as a licensee, be responsible for the efficient and economical provision of water supply and sanitation services authorized by the licence. In the exercise of powers and the discharge of duties, a water authority shall take into account the existence and needs of the economically disadvantaged persons. A Water Authority shall, in performance of its functions under this Act, be subject to regulation by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) in accordance with the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Act.
A community based water supply organisation may be established by the agreement of the majority of the members of a community. It shall be a corporate body for the purposes of this Act as may be prescribed in any law including- (a) a Water Consumer Association; (b) a Water Trust; (c) a Cooperative Society; (d) a Non-government Organisation; (e) a Company; or (f) any other body as approved by the Minister. Organizations shall be governed by Community Water Committees. RUWASA may cluster community organizations into one community organization in order to achieve efficiency and economies of scale. RUWASA shall be responsible for development and sustainable management of rural water supply and sanitation projects and shall monitor community based water supply organisations. A water authority or a community organisation may arrange for the exercise and performance of all or any of its powers and functions under the licence by one or more agents, to be known as service providers. RUWASA shall cooperate with local government authorities in exercising its duties. The objectives of the national Water Fund shall be to mobilize resources and provide investment support for water service provision, and the management of catchment areas serving water supply abstractions.
Long title of text
An Act to provide for sustainable management and adequate operation and transparent regulation of water supply and sanitation services; to provide for the establishment of water supply and sanitation authorities, Rural Water Agency, National Water Fund and community based water supply organisations; to provide for appointment of service providers, repeal of the Water Supply and Sanitation Act, 2009 and the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority Act, 2001 and to provide for related matters.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
This Act shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette.
Serial Imprint
Tanzania Official Gazette of 22 February 2019, Act Supplement No. 5 to Gazette No. 8.
Source language


Legislation Amendment