This paper discusses the findings of a research project which explored the impact of varying organisational arrangements on drinking water quality in England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland. It is established that drinking water quality has been of a consistently higher standard in England and Wales in comparison with the Republic of Ireland. It is also demonstrated that the associated organisational arrangements in England and Wales have been more successful in tackling certain problematic drinking water quality parameters. The paper concludes by arguing that national governments, and their regulatory agencies, should view the rationalisation of organisations involved in the provision of drinking water as key to ensuring better drinking water quality. It is also suggested that state regulators who are responsible for ensuring the quality of drinking water end their dependency on water providers for quality data. They should instead become capable of directly monitoring drinking water quality via their own sampling regime. It is argued that this organisational arrangement would be representative of a more progressive and robust organisational approach to ensuring the supply of safe high quality drinking water.
Keywords: Directive 80/778/EEC, drinking water quality, England/Wales and Ireland, organisational arrangements, policy transposition