Among the water sector guidelines enshrined in the the National Water Policy of 1994 is the seperation of Water Resources Management from Water Supply and Sanitation. The responsibility for management of water resources falls under the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. Specifically, the Department of Water Affairs is tasked with management and development of water resources, the Water Section of the Department of Planning with policy analysis and planning for water resource and the Water Board with issuing of water rights.
Water resources management is regulated by the Water Act, Cap 198, which sets the regulatory framework for surface waters in Zambia. The Act does not regulate groundwater, which is considered “private water”, and does not regulate international waters (e.g. Zambezi River).
MEWD has established the Water Resources Action Plan (WRAP) in order to develop a new legal and institutional framework for the efficient management of national water resources. WRAP has developed the new framework which is laid out in the Water Resources Management Bill. The Bill which provides for regulation of all waters in Zambia (including international waters and groundwater) and establishes an autonomous regulatory body for the sector was approved by Cabinet (under the previous Government) and was expected to be enacted in 2007. However, this process has lagged and the enactment of the bill is still pending