The Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) was established with the Water Resources Management Act No. 21 of 2011. Its main purpose is to serve as the regulatory body for the management and development of water resources in the whole country and ensure equal access to water for the various stakeholders. Based on the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), WARMA also take gender and climate change dimensions into account to perform the following key organizational functions:
- Ensure the sustainable and rational utilization, management and development of water resources.
- Establish and maintain an integrated water resources management information system that is easily accessible by all users.
- Provide access to water resources of acceptable quality and quantity for various uses.
- Set standards and guidelines for undertaking water resources management and development.
- Provide comprehensive advice to the Minister responsible for water on policies for utilization, management and development of water resources.
Water is a basic human need and as such domestic and non-commercial needs shall enjoy first priority on the allocation of use. The environment is a water user and shall enjoy second priority of allocation. There shall be equity between all genders in accessing water resources.
WARMA’s Objective and Mandate
The Water Resources Management Authority draws its objective from Section 8(1) of the WRM Act No. 21 of 2011 which is to:
promote and adopt a dynamic, gender-sensitive, integrated, interactive, participatory and multi-sectoral approach to water resources management and development that includes human, land, environmental and socio-economic considerations, especially poverty reduction and the elimination of water-borne diseases, including malaria.
Based on this objective the mandate of WARMA includes various tasks and responsibilities. The organisation will therefore:
- exercise control over all water resources in Zambia
- monitor & regulate water use to ensure equitable allocation
- define Water Resources Management Regulations and disseminate them to the public
- plan, review and approve water use plans in catchments and sub-catchments
- allocate water entitlements and apportion water to the various users of the water resource after a decentralised decision-making process has been undertaken.
- take over the functions of the Water Board as well as the water resources management functions that were previously under the then Department of Water Affairs
- support the operations of Catchment Councils and Sub Catchment Councils
- facilitate the establishment and support of Water User Associations
- regulate the construction of surface & ground water infrastructure (dams, gauging stations, boreholes, etc)
- preside over possible water conflicts or disputes
- manage all water resources management infrastructure and monitor their use
Vision, Mission and Core Values
A prosperous nation optimally using its water resources.
Effectively regulate, manage, develop, protect and conserve water resources for all users in Zambia.
Watchfulness: being alert and aware, paying careful attention and ready to deal with problems
Accountability: taking responsibility for decisions and actions affecting its stakeholders
Transparency: in all operations relating the permitting process
Equity: in service delivery to assure access to water through equitable allocation of water resources
Reliability: confidence gained from all water users in undertaking its responsibilities in a timely and a professional manner