About Water and Drainage Policy Division

Water and Drainage Policy Division (WDPD) is responsible for advising ministers on policy in relation to the water and sewerage industry and for discharging the Department for Infrastructure’s statutory and other duties under the Water & Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006.

WDPD has responsibility for developing policies to protect the operation of the water and sewerage network and work with other parts of government to develop an integrated approach to managing flood risk.  Responsibility also covers leading on the delivery of the aims and objectives of the Executive's Sustainable Water - A Long Term Water Strategy and the Living with Water Programme, which is coordinating work across a number of Departments and local government to address the future drainage needs of Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland.

In the absence of domestic charging, the Department for Infrastructure ensures NI Water is funded through payment of subsidies and monitors NI Water's performance, both financial and non-financial, against the budget and operating plan and Price Control 21 (PC21), the six-year plan set out by the Utility Regulator for NI Water, in line with the Department's Shareholder interest.  WDPD has responsibility for ensuring that: NIW has adequate subsidy to deliver water and sewerage services; the company spends within its approved resource and capital budgets.

The main areas of responsibility are:

  • legislative framework for the water and sewerage industry
  • strategic planning on environmental and social matters
  • policy advice on water and sewerage issues
  • regulatory governance of the water industry
  • DfI’s regulatory role on water and sewerage services
  • flooding
  • NIW subsidy and charging policy
  • Communication and Co-ordination with Stakeholders
  • develop integrated policies to manage flood and drainage risk

WDPD also acts as Shareholder to ensure that the Department’s investment in Northern Ireland Water (NIW) is protected.

The main areas of responsibility are:

  • holding NIW to account through regular governance meetings.
  • providing reports for the Minister.
  • securing approval to NIW’s Budget before the beginning of each financial year.
  • ensuring that NIW makes the necessary arrangements for the dividend to be declared in line with governance arrangements.
  • ensuring that bids are made to cover NIW’s cash requirements for both capital and current spend in monitoring rounds.

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You can contact Water Policy and Shareholder Division  

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