The Commission has a duty to ensure, by regulation that water and sewerage functions are properly carried out in the State. This means that Operators/Service Providers must be able to secure reasonable returns on their investments to ensure sustainability of the Business on one hand, and on the other hand, the protection of the interests of the Consumers. In furtherance of these twin objectives, the RIVERS STATE WATER SECTOR LAW, 2012 provides that the functions of the Commission shall include;
1. Advise the State Government on water supply, wastewater and sewage matters;
2. Regulate wastewater and sewage activities in the State and enforce compliance with its regulations in respect thereof and any other provisions under this Law or any other Law;
3. License water services providers;
4. Develop sector guidelines on the technical and financial management of water services by water services providers.
5. Make Regulations prescribing all matters which by .this Law are required or permitted to be prescribed or which, in the opinion of the COMMISSION, are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Law, including:
(i) The administration of the affairs of the COMMISSION, including, inter alia, the holding of meetings, Hearings and Proceedings, arbitration and mediation Proceedings, the conduct of inquiries and investigations, becoming a party, the handling of information, and generally the conduct of its business;
(ii) The procedure for issuing licenses;
(iii) The determination of the standards for the provision of water services including water quality standards in accordance with the NDWQS and the construction of boreholes;
(iv) The method and manner by which the tariffs that may be charged by water service providers for their services will be determined including a metering scheme for certain large volume consumers, to the extent practicable and cost-effective;
(v) The duties, powers, rights, and obligations of a water services provider;
(vi) The resources, procurement policies of, and entry into Private Sector Participation Agreement by, the Water Services Providers, including, as may be applicable, the review and approval of same subject to State Laws and Regulations on same;
(vii) Procedures for monitoring compliance with this Law and any other applicable Laws and policies on water;
(viii) Guidelines to eliminate illegal connections, unregulated or illegal use of Water Services;
(ix) Guidelines for monitoring the sinking of boreholes and issuing of permits for same, and other activities impacting access to water including prescribing fees for such monitoring as well as for penalties for contravention; and
(x) Practices, procedures and reporting requirements for monitoring and enforcing this Law including establishment of fines and penalties.
(xi) Regulations for connection and disconnection of consumers from water services
6. Under the provision of this law no Agency (MDAs, ESAs, NGOs, Multinational Organization, private individuals) shall engage in the execution of any Water! Sanitation Project in any part of the State without the written approval of the Commission.
It shall be lawful for the Commission to charge annual levies on privately-owned bore hole or other water facilities of such amount as the Commission may determine from time to time PROVIDED that this power shall not be exercised in an area where the Commission has not provided function water facilities and potable water.