From Pre-Independence to 1981

Responsibility for water supply and sewerage rested with the then Department of Works and Supply (now Department of Works or DOW). 

Continuous change and transformation

Under the National Water Supply and Sewerage Act of 1982, a new authority, the National Water Supply and Sewerage Board (the Waterboard), was established and made responsible for the development of the water supply and sanitation sector throughout the country. The Act empowered the Waterboard to declare as districts nationally administered water supplies and sewerage facilities in the country, regulate the operations of water supply and sewerage systems run by other organizations or agencies, (e.g. provincial governments, local governments, missions, statutory authorities, private enterprises, etc.), and set water supply and sewerage tariffs. In the face of limited financial resources with which to pursue economic development, the Government has moved steadily toward reducing the amount of Government subsidy to the sector by requiring consumers to pay for the costs of providing water supply and sewerage services particularly in the larger urban areas.

Our first steps on the market

By the end of 1985 the Government had succeeded in converting a K3.5 million subsidy to the four Waterboard districts of Lae, Madang, Wewak and Mt. Hagen into a K0.5 million surplus over operating costs. Subsequently, as a result of the success with cost recovery in 1st January 1987, the Government converted the Waterboard into a commercial statutory authority (CSA) under a new (1985) Act that concentrates on undertaking revenue-generating activities. As a CSA, the Waterboard is required to earn a rate of return on its investments as set by the Budget Priorities Committee each planning period and will undertake noncommercial activities as requested by the Government only when the necessary subsidy funds are made available. The Budget Priorities Committee has set 1990 as a target year for the Waterboard to achieve full cost recovery (i.e. operation plus capital costs)

 

Prior to 1990, the water sector was seriously fragmented resulting poor service delivery and no cost recovery.

Responsibility for the development and management of rural water supply and sanitation facilities has been delegated by the Waterboard to the Department of Health (DOH) until 1990. DOH undertakes the implementation of rural water supply and sanitation projects through the Environmental Health Section (EHS) of provincial governments. DOH undertakes policy-making, planning and staff training at the national level, while the EHS In each province takes charge of planning, design, construction and, to a certain extent, maintenance of the systems. Other
organizations Involved In rural water supply Include: the Local Government Councils, which are responsible for the operation and maintenance of water supply schemes at the local level; and the Local Government Section of DOW, which provides assistance in the design and construction of facilities, and in the training of staff who will be involved In the construction of rural water supply systems.

 

Celebrating 30 Year of Service

In 30 years, Water PNG Limited, formerly Water Board, has come a long way in providing water and sanitation services to Papua New Guineans. Water PNG Limited celebrated this milestone in Lae. Over the last 30 years Water PNG Ltd has expanded its services to 23 centres in the country. Yangoru in East Sepik and Kainantu in Eastern Highlands are the latest additions to the many centres Water PNG Ltd is serving.

The new era of Water PNG Limited

Following the successful passage of the National Water Supply and Sewerage Act in December 1986, Water PNG Limited commenced operations on 1 January 1987 as The Waterboard.

It had a name change to Water PNG, officially announcing this on December 10, 2010 at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby. Water PNG then became corporatised on 31st March 2017 and was renamed Water PNG Limited, by virtue of the National Water Supply and Sanitations Act 2016