CHAPTER 72:03
WATER RESOURCES

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application of the Act

   4.   Objectives

   5.   Water vested in the State

   6.   Public ownership of beds and banks of watercourses and lakes and of adjacent land strips

   7.   Powers and duties of the Minister

PART II
NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY

   8.   Establishment of the Authority

   9.   Disclosure of interest

   10.   Powers and functions of the Authority

   11.   Committees of the Authority

   12.   Invited persons

   13.   Regional offices

   14.   Staff of the Authority

   15.   Delegation of powers and functions

   16.   Water resources investigation

   17.   Authority's powers to require records, etc.

   18.   National monitoring of, and information on, water resources management

   19.   Sources of funds

   20.   Application of revenue from permit charges and licence fees

   21.   Investment powers of the Authority

   22.   Financial year of the Authority

   23.   Annual reports

   24.   Progress reports

PART III
CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES

   25.   Catchment areas

   26.   Establishment of catchment management committees

   27.   Procedure for establishment of catchment management committees

   28.   Composition of a catchment management committee

   29.   Functions of catchment management committees

   30.   Authority to assist catchment management committees

   31.   Funding and auditing of activities of operational catchment management committees

   32.   Catchment management strategy

   33.   Sensitization of users of watercourses on protection and management of watercourses and other bodies

PART IV
NATIONAL WATER POLICY AND NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES MASTER PLAN

   34.   National Water Policy

   35.   National Water Resources Master Plan

   36.   Action Plan to be adhered to

PART V
WATER ABSTRACTION AND USE

   37.   Reservation of water resource

   38.   Abstraction of water for domestic use, use of groundwater, and rainwater harvesting

   39.   Abstraction and use of water subject to licence

   40.   Application for licence

   41.   Criteria for issuing a licence

   42.   Contents of the licence

   43.   Terms and conditions of licence

   44.   Reference of licences to other authorities

   45.   Exemption of works

   46.   Issue of temporary licence

   47.   Licence conditional on inspection of works

   48.   Licensee to inform Authority of change of location of water use

   49.   Variation of a licence owing to change in circumstances, etc.

   50.   Cancellation of a licence

   51.   Cancellation or variation of a licence for a public purpose

   52.   Variation of licence following change in flows

   53.   Variation of a licence at request of licensee

   54.   Effects of expiry or cancellation of a licence to abstract and use water

   55.   Lease of licence to abstract and use water

   56.   Succession to a licence to abstract and use water

   57.   Abandonment of permitted or licensed activities

   58.   Surrender of licence

   59.   Register of licences

   60.   Combined licence to abstract and use water and to discharge effluent

   61.   Duration of a licence to abstract and use water

   62.   Renewal of a licence to abstract and use water

   63.   Right to transfer saved water

   64.   Easements for works

   65.   Emergency powers in case of shortage of water

PART VI
CONTROL AND PROTECTION OF GROUNDWATER

   66.   Groundwater conservation areas

   67.   Issuing of licence not guarantee to supply of water

   68.   Permit to drill a borehole or to engage in borehole drilling programme for groundwater exploration

   69.   Submission of records

   70.   Tests on neighbouring boreholes

   71.   Contractor deemed to be constructor

   72.   Records may be required to be treated as confidential

   73.   Waste of groundwater

   74.   Contamination and pollution of groundwater

   75.   Authority may order special measures to safeguard ground-water resources

   76.   Artesian boreholes to be cased

   77.   Defective boreholes

   78.   Interference with defective borehole, etc.

   79.   Application to carry out work on a defective borehole

   80.   Instructions to deal with defective borehole

   81.   Authority may inspect borehole

   82.   Sworn statements to be submitted

   83.   Additional work on defective borehole

   84.   Licensing of borehole drillers and constructors

PART VII
PROTECTED AREAS AND CONTROLLED ACTIVITIES

   85.   Protected areas

   86.   Controlled areas in relation to drought

   87.   Controlled activities

PART VIII
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WATER POLLUTION

   88.   Prohibition of pollution

   89.   Pollution of water resources from an activity or process

   90.   Declaration of prohibited substances by the Authority

   91.   Standards of effluent quality

   92.   Application for effluent discharge permit

   93.   Contents of the permit

   94.   Terms and conditions of a discharge permit

   95.   Reference of permits to other authorities

   96.   Duration of permit to discharge effluent

   97.   Renewal of permit to discharge effluent

   98.   Review of permit to discharge effluent

   99.   Transfer of permit to discharge effluent

   100.   Succession to permit to discharge effluent

   101.   Suspension and cancellation of permit to discharge effluent

   102.   Effects of expiry or cancellation of permit to discharge effluent

   103.   Pollution of water resources from spillage

PART IX
GOVERNMENT WATERWORKS

   104.   Powers of Authority to undertake works

   105.   State schemes and community projects

   106.   Precedence of schemes and projects

   107.   Construction of works for state schemes

   108.   Community projects

   109.   Contribution towards schemes and projects

PART X
SAFETY OF DAMS AND FLOOD MANAGEMENT

   110.   Definitions

   111.   Blockage of watercourses

   112.   Control measures for dams with safety risk

   113.   Responsibilities of approved professional persons

   114.   Registration of dams with safety risk

   115.   Factors to be considered in declaring dams with safety risk

   116.   Exemptions

   117.   Regulations regarding dam safety and prevention of flood risk

   118.   Measures for flood mitigation and control

PART XI
WATER CHARGES AND FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   119.   Charges

   120.   Collection and use of water fees and charges

   121.   Water Resources Trust Fund

PART XII
WATER TRIBUNAL

   122.   Establishment of Water Tribunal

   123.   Composition of the Water Tribunal

   124.   Vacancy in the office of a member of the Water Tribunal

   125.   Support staff and funds of the Water Tribunal

   126.   Indemnity of the Tribunal and its members

   127.   Jurisdiction of the Water Tribunal

   128.   Time for lodging appeal

   129.   Determination of appeals and disputes

   130.   Rules and procedures of the Water Tribunal

PART XIII
ASSOCIATIONS OF WATER USERS

   131.   Establishment and purposes of associations of water users

   132.   Approval and registration of associations of water users

   133.   Registration of associations of water users, compulsory membership implied

   134.   Register of associations of water users

   135.   Power of Authority to give directions

   136.   Disestablishment of associations of water users

   137.   Winding-up of affairs of associations of water users

PART XIV
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   138.   Entry by Authority for monitoring of water resources

   139.   Obligations on entry on land

   140.   Inspection of land in relation to water use

   141.   Establishment of bodies to implement international agreements

   142.   General appeals

   143.   General offence and penalty

   144.   Specific offences

   145.   Miscellaneous offences

   146.   Proceedings for offences

   147.   Penalties for offences

   148.   Administrative penalties

   149.   Offences by bodies corporate relating to state of mind

   150.   Offences by bodies corporate relating to liability of directors

   151.   Penalties for offences by bodies corporate

   152.   Damage caused by the Minister, etc., to be compensated

   153.   Prescribed guidelines

   154.   Decision to be in regard to objectives

   155.   Protection of the Minister and others from liability

   156.   Public consultation

   157.   Regulations

PART XV
REPEALS, SAVINGS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

   158.   Transitional provisions

   159.   Notification of existing rights

   160.   Authority to record existing rights and to issue licence

   161.   Application of other relevant laws

   162.   Repeal and savings

2 of 2013
G.N. 56/2013

An Act to provide for the management, conservation, use and control of water resources; for the acquisition and regulation of rights to use water; and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto

[1ST DECEMBER 2013]

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

1.   Short title

   "> This Act may be cited as the Water Resources Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "aquifer" includes a geological structure or formation and an artificial landfill permeated or capable of being permeated permanently or intermittently with water;

   "Authority" means the National Water Resources Authority established under section 8;

   "authorized" means authorized by or under this Act;

   "authorized person" means a person acting on behalf of the Minister or the Authority to whom powers have been delegated under section 15 and includes an officer, servant or agent of an authority or any person acting on behalf of the authority;

   "borehole" includes a borehole, well, excavation or other opening in the ground or any natural or artificially constructed or improved underground cavity which is used—

   (a)   for intercepting, collecting, obtaining or using ground water; or

   (b)   for disposing of any water or waste below the surface of the ground;

   "catchment", in relation to a watercourse or any part thereof, means the area from which any rainfall will drain into, the watercourse or part of the watercourse through surface flow to a common point;

   "catchment management committee" means a committee established under section 26;

   "catchment area" means an area designated as such under section 25;

   "charges", in relation to the use of water from a water resource, includes fees, levies and premiums of any kind;

   "construct" includes alter, improve, maintain and repair;

   "domestic purposes" includes the provision of water for household and sanitary purposes and for the watering and dipping of stock;

   "domestic sewage" includes faecal matter, urine, household slops and other liquid house refuse;

   "domestic use" includes use for the purpose of—

   (a)   human consumption, washing and cooking by persons ordinarily resident on the land where the use occurs;

   (b)   watering not more than thirty livestock units;

   (c)   irrigating a subsistence garden; and

   (d)   watering a subsistence fish pond;

   "easement" means a right to enter a land owned or occupied by another person for all or any of the following purposes—

   (a)   to construct works on or in that land;

   (b)   to store water on or in that land; or

   (c)   to carry water, drainage or waste under, through or over that land;

   "enclosed spring water" means water in a spring which—

   (a)   is situated wholly within the boundaries of the land owned by any one landholder; and

   (b)   does not naturally discharge water into a watercourse abutting on, or extending beyond, the boundaries of that land;

   "effluent" means any liquid discharged as a result of domestic, commercial, industrial or agricultural activities;

   "environment" means all aspects of the surroundings of humans, including the physical, biological, economic, cultural and social aspects;

   "existing right" means any right to abstract and use water or to discharge effluent—

   (a)   which at the commencement of this Act was lawfully acquired, is possessed by, and is being exercised by, any person; or

   (b)   lawfully acquired by any person before the commencement of the Act for the purpose of supplying water to the public;

   "hydrological station" includes a gauging, recording or monitoring station or an investigation or monitoring borehole or ancillary works constructed or installed on land;

   "inspector" means a person appointed by the Minister or the Authority to exercise the powers of an inspector under this Act;

   "in-stream habitat" includes the physical structure of a water resource and the associated vegetation in relation to the bed of the water course;

   "ground water" means the water of underground streams, channels, artesian basins, reservoirs, lakes and other bodies of water in the ground, and includes water in interstices below the water table;

   "land" includes premises;

   "landholder", in relation to land, means the registered owner of the land or the person in whom the land is otherwise vested by, and includes—

   (a)   any person who by any established right, custom or estate whatsoever is, or is entitled to be, the holder or possessor of land;

   (b)   any person lawfully holding or occupying land in accordance with the provisions of any law empowering the allotment of land upon the promise of title, subject to the fulfilment by the allottee of prescribed conditions; and

   (c)   any person to whom a mining lease or mining location has been granted under the Mines and Minerals Act;

   "licence" means a licence issued under this Act;

   "livestock unit" means a mature animal with a live weight of 250 kilograms and for purposes of this definition—

   (a)   one head of cattle shall be deemed to be 0.7;

   (b)   one horse shall be deemed to be 0.6;

   (c)   one donkey shall be deemed to be 0.4;

   (d)   one goat shall be deemed to be 0.15;

   (e)   one sheep shall be deemed to be 0.15,

   of a livestock unit;

   "natural resources" means land, soil and water in their physical aspects together with the natural vegetation associated therewith, and the normal balance between them;

   "occupier" means any person in occupation of the land or any part of the land or premises;

   "owner" includes—

   (a)   the person for the time being receiving the rent of the land in connexion with which the word is used, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee for any other person; or

   (b)   the person who would receive the rent if the land were let to a tenant;

   "permit" means a permit issued under this Act;

   "pollute", in relation to water, means directly or indirectly to alter the physical, thermal, chemical, biological or radioactive properties of any water so as to render the water less fit for any beneficial purpose for which it is, or may reasonably be, used or to cause a condition which is hazardous or potentially hazardous to public health, safety or welfare, or to animals, birds, fish or aquatic life or other organisms or to plants; and "pollution" has a corresponding meaning;

   "premises" includes any building or structure whether of a temporary or permanent nature and any vehicle or vessel;

   "public consultation", in relation to any application made, or action proposed to be taken, under this Act, has the meaning assigned to it in section 156;

   "regional office" means an office of the Authority established under section 13;

   "reserve", in relation to a water resource, means that quantity and quality of water required—

   (a)   to satisfy basic human needs for all people who are or may be supplied from the water resource; and

   (b)   to protect aquatic ecosystems in order to secure ecologically sustainable development and use of the water resource;

   "resource quality", in relation to a water resource, means the quality of all the aspects of a water resource including—

   (a)   the water quality stipulated for the reserve;

   (b)   the quantity, pattern, timing, water level and assurance of in-stream flow;

   (c)   the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the water;

   (d) the charter and condition of the in-stream and riparian habitat; and

   (e)   the characteristics, condition and distribution of the aquatic biota;

   "riparian habitat" means the dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment adjacent to and associated with a watercourse;

   "shared waters" means such water resources as form, or are traversed by, the boundaries of Malawi with any of its neighbouring states;

   "spring" means water emerging from beneath the surface of the ground otherwise than as a result of drilling or excavation operations;

   "stream" means the water contained in a watercourse, and includes a river;

   "subsistence fish pond" means a fish pond appurtenant to, or used in connexion with, a dwelling or group of dwellings for subsistence of its residents, the produce of which is predominantly consumed by the residents and is not sold or bartered;

   "subsistence garden" means a garden, not exceeding 0.5 hectare in area, appurtenant to, or used in connexion with, a dwelling or group of dwellings for the subsistence of its residents, the produce of which is predominantly consumed by the residents and is not sold or bartered;

   "surface water" means water flowing, stored or found on the surface of the ground;

   "swamp" means any shallow depression on which water collects either intermittently or permanently and where there is a small depth of surface water or a shallow depth of ground water and a slight range of fluctuation either in the surface level of the water or of the ground water level so as to permit the growth of aquatic vegetation;

   "underground water" means water naturally stored or flowing below the surface of the ground and not necessarily apparent on the surface of the ground;

"use", in relation to water, includes to withdraw, pump, extract, take, use or reuse or to divert for the purpose of using or reusing that water;

"water" includes—

   (a)   water flowing or situated upon the surface of any land;

   (b)   water flowing or contained in—

      (i)   any river, stream, watercourse or other natural course for water;

      (ii)   any lake, pond, swamp, marsh or spring, whether or not it has been altered or artificially improved;

   (c)   ground water;

   (d)   such other water as the Minister may, from time to time, declare to be water;

   "Water Tribunal" means the Water Tribunal established under section 122;

   "water resource" means any lake, pond, swamp, marsh, stream, watercourse, estuary, aquifer, artesian basin or other body of flowing or standing water, whether above or below ground;

"water right" subject to the provisions of section 38, includes any existing right;

   "water table" means—

   (a)   in pervious granular or detrital material, the upper surface of the body of free water which fills all openings in material that is sufficiently pervious to permit percolation; and

   (b)   in fractured impervious rocks and in solution openings, the surface at the contact between the water body in the openings and the overlying ground air;

   "watercourse" means any natural channel or depression in which water flows regularly or intermittently;

   "works" means any structure, apparatus, contrivance, device or thing for carrying, conducting, providing or utilizing water or liquid waste, but does not include hand utensils or such other contrivances as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.

   (2) In interpreting this Act, an interpretation which promotes the objectives of the Act shall be preferred to one which does not.

3.   Application of the Act

   The Minister may, from time to time, by notice published in the Gazette declare part of this Act not to apply to an area defined in the notice for a purpose defined in the action plan.

4.   Objectives

   The objectives of the Act are—

   (a)   to promote the rational management and use of the water resources of Malawi through—

      (i)   the progressive introduction and application of appropriate standards and techniques for the investigation, use, control, protection, management and administration of water resources;

      (ii)   the regulation of all public and private activities which may influence the quality, quantity, distribution, use or management of water resources;

      (iii)   the coordination, allocation and delegation of responsibilities among Ministers and public authorities for the investigation, use, control, protection, management or administration of water resources;

   (b)   to allow for the orderly development and use of water resources for all purposes including domestic use, the watering of stock, irrigation and agriculture, industrial, commercial and mining uses, the generation of hydroelectric or geothermal energy, navigation, fishing, preservation of flora and fauna and recreation in ways which minimize harmful effects to the environment; and

   (c)   to control pollution and to promote the safe storage, treatment, discharge and disposal of waste and effluents which may pollute water or otherwise harm the environment and human health.

5.   Water vested in the State

   All water resources are hereby vested in the State, subject to any rights of a user granted by or under this Act or any other written law.

6.   Public ownership of beds and banks of watercourses and lakes and of adjacent land strips

   (1) The bed and banks of watercourses and lakes and the adjacent land strips are declared public land and the Authority shall determine and regulate the management thereof.

   (2) No person shall cultivate or carry out any activity within the bed and banks of watercourses and lakes and their adjacent land strips except as determined by the Authority under subsection (1).

   (3) The Minister, in consultation with the relevant authorities, shall determine the width of the land which is subject to this section.

   (4) The Minister, in consultation with the relevant authorities, shall facilitate payment of compensation for loss of property within any land which is a subject matter of this section.

   (5) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence.

7.   Powers and duties of the Minister

   (1) The Minister shall, in accordance with this Act have, and may, exercise control over every water resource.

   (2) The Minister shall promote the investigation, conservation and proper use of water resources throughout Malawi and ensure the effective exercise and performance by any authorities or persons under the control of the Minister of their powers and duties in relation to water.

   (3) The Minister shall be assisted in the discharge of his duties under this section by the Authority established under this Act.

PART II
NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY

8.   Establishment of the Authority

   (1) There is hereby established an Authority to be known as the National Water Resources Authority.

   (2) The Authority shall be—

   (a)   a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal;

   (b)   have power, in and by its corporate name, to sue and be sued; and

   (c)   in the exercise and performance of its powers and functions, to do and permit all such things as may lawfully be done or permitted by a body corporate in furtherance of its objects.

   (3) The powers and functions of the Authority shall be exercised and performed under the direction of a governing board, which shall consist of—

   (a)   the following members appointed by the Minister—

      (i)   a representative of one of the established catchment management committees;

      (ii)   one representative of associations of water users;

      (iii)   one representative of a non-governmental organization (NGO) engaged in the water sector; and

      (iv)   one member as the Minister may, in his discretion, appoint from the private sector as representing key private sector stakeholders;

   (b)   the following ex-officio members—

      (i)   the Secretary responsible for water development or his designated representative;

      (ii)   the Secretary responsible for health, or his designated representative;

      (iii)   the Secretary responsible for tourism, or his designated representative;

      (iv)   the Secretary responsible for agriculture, or his designated representative;

      (v)   the Secretary responsible for irrigation, or his designated representative;

      (vi)   the Secretary responsible for land matters, or his designated representative;

      (vii)   the Secretary responsible for natural resources, or his designated representative;

      (viii)   the Secretary responsible for environment, or his designated representative; and

      (ix)   the Secretary responsible for transport, or his designated representative.

   (4) In making the appointments, other than of the ex-officio"> members, the Minister shall have regard to—

   (a)   the educational qualifications, experience, expertise, character and integrity of potential candidates for membership; and

   (b)   the degree to which water users, or water users of particular kinds, are represented on the board at the time the appointment is made.

   (5) A member, other than an ex-officio member, shall hold office for a period of three years and may be eligible for re-appointment from time to time.

   (6) The Minister shall designate one member who is not a public officer to be the Chairperson of the Authority.

   (7) Members of the Authority shall elect from amongst their number a Vice-Chairperson.

   (8) An appointment under this section may be revoked, by the person or his successor in office, who made the appointment.

   (9) For the purposes of this section, a vacancy in the office of Chairperson shall be deemed to be an absence from office of the Chairperson.

   (10) The terms and conditions of service of a member, including the remuneration, allowances and other expenses to which he is entitled, shall be as determined by the Authority and approved by the Minister.

   (11) The office of a member shall become vacant if—

   (a)   he dies, resigns or is removed from office;

   (b)   he absents himself, without valid reasons, from three consecutive meetings of the Authority of which he has had notice;

   (c)    he is adjudged bankrupt;

   (d)   he is adjudged or declared, by any competent court or tribunal, to be of unsound mind; or

   (e)   he is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment without an option of a fine.

   (12) On vacation of office by a member, the vacancy shall be filled by a person appointed in accordance with the relevant provision of section 8 (3) under which the former member was appointed:

   Provided that if the remaining period is less than six months, the Minister may decide not to have the vacancy filled until the expiry of the period.

   (13) The Authority shall meet at least four times in every year.

   (14) Except as otherwise provided by or under this Act—

   (a)   meetings of the Authority shall be held at such times and places as are fixed by the Chairperson; and

   (b)   the procedure for the convening of meetings and for the conduct of business at those meetings shall be as determined by the Authority.

   (15) Half of the members of the Authority shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Authority.

   (16) The Chairperson or, in the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and in the absence of both the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson, a member appointed by the members then present, and forming a quorum shall preside at a meeting of the Authority.

   (17) A decision supported by a majority of the votes cast at a meeting of the Authority at which a quorum is present shall be the decision of the Authority.

   (18) The presiding member at a meeting of the Authority shall cause a record of the proceedings at the meeting to be made.

   (19) Records made for the purpose of subsection (17) may be destroyed after the expiry of the period determined by the Authority.

   (20) The first meeting of the Authority shall be called by the Minister in such manner as the Minister thinks fit.

9.   Disclosure of interest

   (1) A member who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest—

   (a)   in a matter which is being considered, or is about to be considered, at a meeting of the Authority; or

   (b)   in a thing done or about to be done by the Authority,

shall, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to his knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest at a meeting of the Authority.

   (2) A disclosure at such a meeting that the member concerned—

   (a)   is a member, or is in the employment, of a specified company or other body;

   (b)   is a partner, or is in the employment, of a specified person; or

   (c)   has some other specified interest relating to a specified company or other body or a specified person, shall be deemed to be a sufficient disclosure of the nature of the interest in any matter or thing relating to that company or other body or to that person which may arise after the date of the disclosure.

   (3) The Authority shall cause particulars of any disclosure made under subsection (1) or (2) to be recorded in a book kept for the purpose and that book shall be open at all reasonable hours to the inspection, free of charge, by any person.

   (4) After a member has, or is deemed to have, disclosed the nature of an interest in any matter or thing under subsection (1) or (2), the member shall not, unless it is otherwise determined—

   (a)   be present during any deliberation, or take part in any decision, of the Authority with respect to that matter; or

   (b)   exercise or perform any powers or functions under this Act with respect to that thing,

   as the case may require.

   (5) Subsection (4) shall not apply to a member whose interest consists merely of the fact that the member is the holder of a permit.

   (6) A contravention of subsection (4) shall not in itself invalidate any decision of the Authority or the exercise or performance of any power or function under this Act.

10.   Powers and functions of the Authority

   (1) The Authority shall have the following powers and functions—

   (a)   to develop principles, guidelines and procedures for the allocation of water resources;

   (b)   to monitor, and from time to time reassess, the National Water Policy and the National Water Resources Master Plan;

   (c)   to receive and determine applications for permits for water use;

   (d)   to monitor and enforce conditions attached to permits for water use;

   (e)   to regulate and protect water resources quality from adverse impacts;

   (f)   to manage and protect water catchments;

   (g)   in accordance with guidelines in the National Water Policy, to determine charges to be imposed for the use of water from any water resource;

   (h)   to gather and maintain information on water resources and from time to time to publish forecasts, projections and information on water resources;

   (i)   to liaise with the relevant stakeholders for the better regulation and management of water resources;

   (j)   to advise the Minister concerning any matter in connexion with water resources;

   (k)   to assist the Minister in the coordination of hydrological and hydrogeological investigations;

   (l)   to coordinate the preparation, implementation and amendment of a water action plan and to recommend the water action plan to the Minister;

   (m)   at the request of the Minister, advise any other Minister who may request advice on—

      (i)   issues of policy relevant to the investigation, use, control, protection, management or administration of water; or

      (ii)   any other issue that may be referred to it;

   (n)   whether on request or otherwise, to review the law relating to water and advise the Minister on any amendments that may be required for the improvement or better administration of that law;

   (o)   to advise the responsible Minister, as the case may require, on any dispute between agencies involved in water management that may be referred to it; and

   (p)   to undertake any other functions conferred upon it under this Act or referred to it by the Minister from time to time.

   (2) The Authority may, with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions given under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, undertake the prosecution of any offences arising under this Act or in connexion with the performance of its functions.

   (3) The Authority shall have such other powers and functions as may be conferred or imposed on it by or under this or any other Act, or as may be reasonably incidental to the exercise or performance of any power or function so conferred or imposed.

   (4) Except as to the contents of any report or recommendation made by it, the Authority shall, in the exercise and performance of its powers and functions be subject to such directions as may be given from time to time by the Minister.

   (5) A summary of any directions given under subsection (4) during a financial year shall be published in the Authority's annual report prepared under section 23 (1).

11.   Committees of the Authority

   (1) The Authority may, for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, establish committees and delegate to any such committee such of its functions as it considers necessary.

   (2) The Authority may appoint as members of a committee established under subsection (1) persons who are or are not members of the Authority and such persons shall hold office for such period as the Authority may determine.

   (3) Subject to any specific or general direction of the Authority, a committee established under subsection (1) may regulate its own procedure.

12.   Invited persons

   (1) The Authority may in its discretion at any time and for any period invite any person, and the Minister may in like manner nominate an officer in the public service, to attend any meeting of the Authority or of any of its committees and take part in the deliberations of the meeting, but such person or officer shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting.

   (2) Section 9 shall apply mutatis mutandis"> to a person or an officer attending a meeting of the Authority pursuant to subsection (1).

13.   Regional offices

   The Authority may establish such regional offices in or near any catchment area as the Authority may determine.

14.   Staff of the Authority

   (1) There shall be an Executive Director of the Authority who shall be appointed by the Authority on such terms and conditions as the Authority may determine.

   (2) The Executive Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Authority and, subject to the directions of the governing board, shall be responsible for the management of the affairs of the Authority.

   (3) The Authority may appoint such other officers and staff as may be necessary for the exercise and performance of its powers and functions, upon such terms and conditions as it may determine.

15.   Delegation of powers and functions

   (1) The Minister may, in writing, delegate to the Authority any of his powers or functions under this Act other than—

   (a)   the powers conferred by this section;

   (b)   the power to make regulations; and

   (c)   the power to determine appeals.

   (2) Delegation under subsection (1) may be in relation to a matter or class of matters or to any part of Malawi.

   (3) The Minister may in writing, revoke a delegation under subsection (1), and the fact that the Minister has delegated a power or function shall not prevent him from exercising that power or function.

   (4) Powers and functions delegated under subsection (1) shall be exercised or performed in accordance with the conditions set out in the instrument of delegation.

   (5) A person to whom a power or function has been delegated under this section shall have all necessary power to exercise the powers or functions delegated notwithstanding that the person would not be legally empowered were it not for this section.

   (6) The person exercising the delegated powers or functions under this section may receive written or oral submission from any person on any matter within the delegation.

   (7) Where in the exercise of a delegated power or performing a delegated function the opinion or discretion of the Minister is required, the person may, unless the contrary intention appears, exercise or perform the power or function upon his own opinion or discretion as the case may require.

   (8) Where there is a conflict between matters to which regard has to be made with respect to the provisions of this Act and the instrument of delegation, the person acting on behalf of the Minister or an authorized person shall apply the provisions of this Act.

16.   Water resources investigation

   (1) The Authority shall provide for—

   (a)   the collection, collation and analysis of data concerning the occurrence, flow, characteristics, quality and use of any water or waste;

   (b)   the systematic gauging and recording of rainfall and of the volume, flow and quality of other water or waste;

   (c)   the construction, operation and removal of gauging, recording and monitoring stations and investigation and monitoring boreholes; or

   (d)   the sampling and analysis of any water or waste.

   (2) The Authority may do anything necessary or expedient for or in connexion with the exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (1).

17.   Authority's powers to require records, etc.

   (1) The Authority may require any class or type of persons, or the person on whom notice is served, as the case may be, to—

   (a)   keep and maintain records;

   (b)   install, operate and maintain equipment;

   (c)   take samples, dispose of them in a particular manner or submit them to such analysis by such person or class of persons; or

   (d)   provide information to a person,

concerning the investigation, use, control, protection, management or administration of any water or concerning any waste, as may be prescribed in a regulation or notice.

   (2) Anything required to be done by a regulation made or a notice given under subsection (1) shall be done at the expense of the person to whom the notice or regulation applies, unless the Authority otherwise determines.

   (3) A person who contravenes or fails to comply with or causes or allows any person to contravene or fail to comply with this section, commits an offence.

   (4) Any person who furnishes any information under this section or who causes or allows any statement or representation to be made which he knows to be false or misleading in a material particular commits an offence.

18.   National monitoring of, and information on, water resources management

   (1) The Authority shall provide for a national monitoring and information system on water resources.

   (2) The system shall provide for—

   (a)   the collection and management of data and information regarding water resources and their management; and

   (b)   procedures for gathering data and the analysis and dissemination of information on water resources.

   (3) For the purposes of the system established under this section, the Authority may, by order require any person, within a reasonable time or on a regular basis, to provide it with specified information, documents, samples or materials.

   (4) Regulations made under this Act may specify requirements for the keeping of records and the furnishing of information to the Authority.

   (5) On payment of the prescribed fee, any member of the public—

   (a)   shall have access to information contained in any national information system; and

   (b)   shall be supplied with a copy of the Authority's annual report.

19.   Sources of funds

   (1) The funds of the Authority shall consist of—

   (a)   such sums as may be appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Authority;

   (b)   any fees, charges, etc., payable under this Act;

   (c)   such other moneys and assets as may vest in or accrue to the Authority in the course of its functions; and

   (d)   such moneys or other assets as may accrue to, or vest in the Authority by way of grants, subsidies, bequests, donations, gifts, subscriptions, rents, interest or royalties from any person.

   (2) The Authority shall keep proper books of accounts and other records relating thereto in respect of its funds and shall in every respect comply with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.

   (3) The accounts of the Authority shall be examined and audited annually by auditors appointed by the Authority and approved by the Minister.

20.   Application of revenue from permit charges and licence fees

   (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, the Authority shall retain in a fund managed by it all of the revenue from water use charges payable under a permit, to be applied by the Authority in meeting costs incurred in the performance of its functions.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), funds retained by the Authority under that subsection may be applied for the payment of compensation payable by the Authority under this Act, whether or not the payment is subsequently recoverable from a permit holder or other person.

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