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Title: An assessment of the impact of regulatory models for drinking water quality in the UK
Author: May, Annabelle
ISNI:       0000 0001 3621 9037
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2007
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The main objectives of this study were to assess the influence of regulations on drinking water quality and to explore how drinking water quality regulation is practiced in other countries to establish if the regulatory paradigm in England and Wales and the regulatory mechanisms used by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) have been effective, and finally, whether potential for improvement exists. Drinking water quality data from Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales was used to aid an assessment of the three regulatory models found in the United Kingdom. The assessment was also informed by knowledge acquired through practical observation of regulators, interviews with key personnel and a literature review. Case studies on the implementation of regulatory provisions for Cryptosporidium and the non-regulation based Water Safety Plan approach in England and Wales, illustrate the positive and negative features of the industry, the regulatory model and the DWI. Regulation as a general activity was assessed by considering other regulators such as the Health and Safety Executive. This study found that drinking water quality regulation in England and Wales was necessary to protect public health. The regulations and regulatory powers available to the DWI meet the ‘five principles of better regulation’ as adopted by government. Drinking water quality problems have decreased, but also changed since privatisation; regulatory methods, including reporting and inspection have evolved to reflect this, to positive effect. A range of regulatory methods are required for effective regulation and these must be exercised considering the structure and culture of the water industry, as these have an impact on the achievement of a regulator’s objectives. The regulator should make the best use of available technology, information and knowledge management to assist its functions. Use of the self regulation model can allow for a lean, cost efficient regulator, but structured internal communication and external stakeholder relationships are never-the-less vital for the organisation to be effective and deal with external influences, contribute to industry-wide cooperative projects, and exert national and international political influence. The regulatory model in England and Wales is well crafted and continues to work towards the reduction of public health risk from drinking water supplies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available