The most important of all utilities, the water service industry in Sri Lanka includes providing pipe-borne water supply from a public water supply system in any urban or rural area (including providing water through water bowsers) and public sewerage services. However, it does not include irrigated water and bottled water.
The regulation of the water service industry was officially assigned to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka in 2002. However, until an industrial act for the water sector is enacted the PUCSL will have no authority to regulate this sector.
During the first half of the year 2008, the Commission provided inputs for the finalization of draft amendments to the National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) Act, to enable the regulation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Industry by the Commission. In anticipation of the envisaged regulatory role in the water services industry, The Commission continued the dialogue with the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage about its intention to act as the shadow regulator during the transitional period.