The Water Regulatory Authority of Albania (WRA)
WRA is the Albanian Water Regulatory Authority (WRA) established in 1998 as an independent Regulatory Authority. It employs 28 people, including 5 members of the Commission, with an annual budget of 325.000 €. As the national Regulatory Authority, WRA’s mission is to ensure that water supply and sewerage service providers deliver the highest possible quality at a fair price and financially sustainable manner.
You can find this data and the country profiles of all the 25 WAREG Members in our Water Governance Report (2021).
As the Regulatory Authority for water, WRA’s main responsibilities are:
- to issue licenses for commercial entities engaged in providing water supply services for the benefit of the population;
- o approve water sale prices and tariffs, both wholesale and retail, tariffs for wastewater and its treatment, schedules, and conditions for the service offered by the operators, who provide water for public consumption;
- to set standards for investments and assets sale from the licensees in the water supply and sewage sector;
- to establish and guarantee the implementation of work standards for licenses;
- to ensure that service providers deliver good quality and at a reasonable price;
- to regulate service tariffs in a way that ensures service providers’ financial sustainability as well as affordability for customers;
- to encourage uniform standards and rules for the entire sector; and
- to issue rules that support the execution of the competencies and functions regarding water supply and wastewater disposal and treatment.
The main legislations on the water sector of Albania are the following:
- Law No. 8102, dated 28.03.1996, as amended, “On the Regulatory Framework of Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal and Treatment Sector”;
- Law No. 9902, dated 17.04.2008, as amended, “On Consumer Protection”;
- Law No. 8480, dated 27.05.1999, “On Functioning of Collegial Bodies of State Administration and Public Authorities”;
- Water Code, DCO No. 1304 dated 11.12.2009.
The water sector is organised as a two-tier system, with the national Government being responsible for sector strategies and policy development and local governments for service provision.
The Central Government has the primary role of channelling donor and treasury funds for capital improvements, based on needs assessment through National Master Plans and needs expression by local governments.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy (MIE) is the line Ministry responsible for the Water Sector in Albania. MIE is responsible for setting the main priorities of the water sector, such as the development and implementation of the Water Sector Reform, ensuring technical assistance in support of water supply and sewerage companies.
The National Agency of Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Infrastructure (AKUM) is a legal, individual and budgetary unit under the MIE, representing only specialised Government technical institutions in the water supply and sewerage sector. Its principal duties and responsibilities include implementing the investments in the sector and proposing drafting policies, strategies, and action plans in the sector.
The National Water Council (NWC) is a central decision-making authority in water resource administration in the Republic of Albania. The NWC is the main inter-institutional body chaired by the Prime Minister of Albania. The members of the line ministers are responsible for drafting policies and plans for integrated water resource management.
The Water Resources Management Agency (WRMA) is the executive Authority of NWC, responsible for developing and implementing policies and strategies related to integrated water resources in Albania. The agency also plays the role of Technical Secretariat of the National Water Council.
The River Basin Councils (RBC) are set up under the WRMA based on 6 main rivers. The chairman of the RBC is the region’s largest prefecture where the water basin is located.
- Area: 28.748 Km2
- Population: 2,83 million people (2020 INSTAT)
- Population density: 98 inhab./km2 (2020)
- GDP per capita: 5,268.85$/year (2018 – World Bank – current prices
- Main water and sanitation services data
- Number of operators of drinking water and/or sanitation services: 57
- Percentage of households served: 76.1% for water supply, 51.5% for sewerage and 15% for wastewater treatment.
- Abstracted water volume: 303 million m3/y
- Wastewater volume collected: 156 million m3/year
- Average per capita consumption: 81 l/p/d
- Sector Turnover: 79.4 million €
- Average service price by m3: the average price for water delivery is 0,64 €/ m3 and for wastewater is 0.15 €/m3
- Number of employees: 8425
Who approves tariffs and at which level (regulator/local/regional/State-Ministry/company/etc.)?
National Regulatory Commission (NRC) at the national and local levels.
What is the methodology used to set tariffs (ex. which are the variables to take into consideration)?
The tariff Setting Methodology used is Cost Plus, which its main pillars are:
- Cost recovery: Tariffs will rise gradually until revenue collection is sufficient to recover all justifiable costs.
- Managerial efficiency: Providers must demonstrate measurable progress in improving their technical and financial performance before WRA will approve any tariff increase.
- Affordability: The average bill of the household with an occupancy of 4 persons, must not by more than 5% of their average monthly expenditures.
- Environmental efficiency: Water pricing must encourage resource conservation and sustainable consumption levels.