Wastewater constitutes an alternative water source for the irrigation sector. To fully benefit from it, and reduce possible adverse effects on public health and the environment, we need to look at the regulation of the practice. A prerequisite for this is an institutional analysis, and the points to consider are the institutional mandates. We used the city of Hyderabad, India, as a case study. There, irrigation with wastewater is not supported or recognized, but it happens in practice. It takes place in an indirect and unplanned way. Institutions fail at enforcing regulations, and little attention is given to formalization of the practice. With this article, we aim to untangle the institutional setup, and by doing so, identify the constraints surrounding development of a formal practice. Ultimately, we aim at contributing to the discussion on the agricultural use of wastewater.