Phone: +266 22320127     Email:          

Water Sector

Water CommissionWater AffairsRural Water SupplyLesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme UnitWater And Sewerage CompanyMetolong AuthorityLesotho Highlands Water CommissionLesotho Highlands Development AuthorityLesotho Electricity and Water Authority

The office of water commission under the leadership of commissioner of water has been established under the water act of 2008


To develop, update and monitor the implementation of water  policy, water and sanitation legislations and strategy; preparation and coordination of all water sector management activities, including international waters. Provision of direction on water resources management and utilization.

Policy and Legal Framework

Water Commission’s mandate is based on the following legal framework

  • Vision 2020 (2004-2020)
  • The National Strategic Development Plan (2012-2017):
  • Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030)
  • Water and sanitation Policy (2007)
  • Water Act (2008)
  • Long Term Water and Sanitation Strategy (2016)

Vision 2020

Relevant pillars

  • Strong economy and prosperous nation

Water plays the pivotal role in both the industrial and agricultural development, among others, and indeed the lubricant of economic growth, moreover, Food security is guaranteed by water availability in both quantity and quality

  • Well managed environment

Water and environment are inseparable and intertwined.  The well managed environment will safeguard availability of water through recharged ground water that keeps our rivers and springs flowing.  Indeed proper management of watersheds (catchments) will keep our water resources sustainably abundant

  • Healthy and well developed human resource base

Capacitating both the  water institutions and the staff ensures sound and informed management of our water resources. Increase in food production, safe drinking water and basic sanitation are directly related to the healthy manpower.

  • Well established Technology

Data collection technologies assist in making the precise assessment of the country’s water resources. This assists in making  Early warnings of extreme events like droughts, floods, etc.

National Strategic Development Plan

  1. Develop key infrastructure
  • To expand water harvesting infrastructure.
  • To expand water and sanitation distribution services to industries, commercial centers, house holds, and other institutions.
  • To augment industrial effluent treatment and disposal facilities.
  • To create water reserves for national water security.
  • To increase productivity in natural resources based economic activities such as agriculture ( via increased irrigation capacity), hydropower generation, tourism etc.
  1. Reverse land degradation, desertification and improve water shed management.
  2. Improve health, combat hiv and aids and reduce vulnerability
  3. Enhance skills base, technology adoption and foundation for innovation.


To manage quantity and quality of surface and subsurface water resources of Lesotho for socio-economic development of Basotho.

Key Functions
Water resources assessment and development
Wetlands conservation and rehabilitation
Water use management

The department of water affairs has five divisions namely: Hydrology, Groundwater, Water Rights, Research & Development and Water Resources.

Assessment and management of surface water resources through a network of Hydrometric stations that are distributed throughout the country. The information and data that is available at the department includes river flows, sediment transport, dam water levels, and water situation reports. The data collection is carried out in collaboration with stakeholders such as LHDA, WASCo, and DWA-SA.

The Map below shows the distribution of Hydrometric stations:


Assessment and management of ground water resources through exploration, borehole construction, aquifer tests and monitoring of spring yields and borehole water levels. The data collection is carried out in collaboration with stakeholders such as private drillers, NGOs and other government institutions.

  1. Boreholes in the country

2. Monitoring Springs and monitoring boreholes


Boreholes 168.28 KB 751 downloads


Springs 639.53 KB 195 downloads


Water Rights
Administer the Water Act for protection and management of water resources through Water Use Permits and Construction Permits. Assessment and management of ground water and surface water quality.

  1. How to apply for permits, who is to apply and requirements. 
  2. A register of water uses (irrigation, domestic, bottling) 

Rights To Use Water 273.45 KB 304 downloads


Water Resources
The general information and data accruing from other divisions are kept, managed and disseminated by this division. Development and coordination of all water resources projects within the Department and ensures the sustainable use, conservation and sound management of wetlands in Lesotho through inventory, monitoring and rehabilitation of wetlands in consultation with other stakeholders for socio-economic development of Basotho.


  1. Khubelu Sponges Project, Khubelu Mokhotlong

Protection of Khubelu wetlands, which form part of Senqu sources, through soft “social” & hard “infrastructural” interventions (SADC, ORASECOM, GIZ)

  1. Assessment of groundwater resources in the South Phuthiatsana catchment using isotope methods (IAEA)

To determine groundwater recharge areas, age, velocity, and interaction with surface water, with integration of isotope hydrology approaches for data collection and interpretation

  1. Classification of Watercourses and Assessment of Environmental Flows (IDA)

To develop a robust framework to describe the state of the aquatic environment (wetlands, surface water, groundwater) that can guide classification, monitoring and sustainable development of water resources in Lesotho

  1. Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa SADC (MESA SADC)

To monitor changing conditions of natural resources and weather patterns in near real time for decision making, in relation to Agriculture, Drought, Floods and Wildfires, using proven satellite and land based monitoring technologies

Site Map

Site Map


The Department of Rural water Supply (DRWS) is responsible forwater supply and sanitation infrastructure development and service delivery in the rural areas.
This is done through community managed water schemes and support to on-site sanitation. Integration of implementation of rural water supply with programmes of sanitation and hygiene education is done concurrently in order to realise a full health benefits of accessibility to potable water and sanitation facilities.


1. We strive to be the best organisation with decentralised decision making powers, rationalised procedures and increasing autonomy in order to meet specific demands of our clients.

2. To involve and assist communities in project formulation and implementation.

3. To build capacity and empower communities in the operation and maintenance of water supply systems through our community liaison programme.

4. Commit to outsourcing our activities to consultants, private contractors and other organisations in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in order to accelerate sustained coverage and contribute towards national job creation.

Mission Statement


The department of Rural Water Supply is in the service of provision of sustainable and adequate potable water to rural communities. We intend to remain in this business and work in partnership with other departments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and communities to improve quality of life of our people.

Goal 1
We strive to be the best organisation, with decentralized decision-making powers, rationalized procedures and increasing autonomy in order to meet the specific demands

Goal 2
We involve and assist communities in project formulation and implementation and we build capacity and empower them in operation and maintenance of water supply systems through our community liaison programme.

Goal 3
In order to accelerate sustained coverage and contribute towards national job creation, we will work towards outsourcing our activities by involving consultants, private contractors and other organizations, in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of water supply systems.


We strive for sustainable demand driven water supply of high quality and appropriate standards. We are committed to active marketing and establishing strong co-ordination with the provision of sanitation facilities, and improved health.

We value our customers; therefore we are committed to satisfy them by meeting their desires through subsidized services.

We are aware of our responsibilities to all internal and external stakeholders; therefore we will conduct our business honestly and practice highest level of moral standards.

Location of District Offices


  • The Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme Unit (LLWSSU) was established by Cabinet Memorandum in 2002 with the mandate to oversee the implementation of the Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme in accordance with the provisions of the Lesotho Water and Sanitation Policy of 2007 – Statement 2.

The mandate of the Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme is to:

  • Establishment of the need for water demand for different purposes (Domestic, Agricultural, Institutional, tourism, etc);
  • Identification and development of potential sources for water;
  • Design of large and small infrastructures serving initially the lowlands (reservoirs, dams, weirs, conveyance systems) and its implementation; and
  • Source funding for projects from GoL and International Agencies and Governments;


To support a sustained socio-economic development and help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water supply contributing to health improvement and poverty reduction.

To bring a far reaching solution to the limitations in the supply of potable water in the Lowlands attending the demands of:

  • the people and
  • the industry,Tourism, Agriculture, hydropower etc


  • LLWSS devised to supply water to that area of Lesotho with 75% of population and most industry agricultural activity
  • 2004 – the feasibility study of the Lesotho Lowlands Bulk Water Supply Scheme was done and divided the scheme into 8 water demand zone areas.
  • 2008 – Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme detailed designs & procurement documents were completed with the design horizon of 2020 and 2035
  • 2016 – Construction of the Metolong Dam to serve Zone 4 &5 was completed
  • Downstream conveyance system to serve Maseru, Berea (Zone 4 ) and partial (Zone 5 in Mafeteng)
  • Outstanding works are zones 1-3 and 6-8, some in part of 5







The general lay-out of this scheme consists of five standardised components:

1.River intakes to abstract raw water from the rivers identified;

2.Water treatment plants;


4.Pumping stations;

5.Bulk reservoirs;




  • Successful undertaking of LLWSS Feasibility Study 2004 – EU Funding
  • Successful completion of Detail Designs 2008 – EU Funding
  • Implementation of Zone 4 and Part of Zone 5 (Metolong Dam Water Supply Project) 2016 – KBOSE (Kuwait, BADEA, Funding)
  • Securing TA to assist LLWSSU in the implementation of LLWSS – funding from EU
  • On-going review and update of designs – funding from World Bank



Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) is a company duly established under the Water and Sewerage Company (Propriety) Limited (Establishment and Vesting) Act, 2010 Enacted by the Parliament of Lesotho. The company’s Act established the Water and Sewerage Company (Proprietary) Limited and provided for the vesting of the assets, liabilities, rights and obligations of the Water and Sewerage Authority in the company, and provided for the transfer of employees.

Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) serves almost 300 000 people in the urban centres with potable water. The Company has over 80 000 customers which is 60% of the total urban population. The safe drinking water is supplied through post paid, pre paid and standpipe connections. The Company also serves the many industries and commercial premises, particularly in Maseru namely; Nien Hsing, C&Y, Global Garment and Lesotho Brewing Company, which use about 40% of the water produced. In total 60% of the water produced is used in industries and commerce.

WASCO has covered 49% of sites in urban centres with water connections and 13% of sewer connections. Over and above the said connections, the Company regulates sewage tanker service. This service is done by private tank owners in Maseru and this has recently been introduced in other urban centres. The emptying service is provided to households and businesses in areas that have a reticulated water supply but do not have access to piped sewerage. The tankers are used to empty septic and conservancy tanks including VIP toilets.

On average, water production for the city of Maseru is 40 mega litres per day. Maseru residential and industrial customers obtain their water mainly from the Caledon (Mohokare) river, which is supplemented by water from the Maqalika dam when river levels are low and when there is high turbidity in the river.

In the remaining 15 town centres, raw water is abstracted from rivers, (surface water) and well points. Some of these towns obtain their supplies from springs and boreholes (ground water).

The Mandate of Metolong Authority is implementation of The Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP) which is aimed at increasing access to water and improving the reliability of water supply to urban and peri-urban areas in Maseru and the neighbouring towns of Roma, Morija, Mazenod, and Teyateyaneng.

The MDWSP has been identified as the least-cost, long-term solution to supply water to meet increasing demand and support continued economic growth in the above mentioned towns. The MDWSP has five main projects: Metolong Dam, Water Treatment Works, Downstream Conveyance System, Advance Infrastructure, and Environmental and Social Management Programme.

Programme Components

  1. Metolong Dam is a 83m high roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam with a reservoir capacity of 64million cubic metre and a Raw Water Pumping Station with a 1.2 cubic metre per second capacity. Bridge over the dam wall.

Key Milestones:

  • RCC commenced in August 2013 and was completed to full height in February 2015.
  • First impoundment of the Dam took place on 17 February 2014.
  • First Water delivery to the Water Treatment Works commenced in May 2014
  1. Water Treatment Works is a conventional treatment plant capable of producing 75Ml/d average (93Ml/d peak) of potable water. This compares to the existing Maseru plant which can provide +/- 50Ml/d. Work under this project also includes a high lift pump station capable of pumping 1200l/s at 110m head through a 1200mm diameter x 2500m long steel pipeline to the Command reservoir, which has a capacity of 40Ml.
  2. Downstream Conveyance System comprise 125km of pipe line ranging between 200mm and 1168mm in diameter; two booster pump stations; eight (8) reservoirs; 5 chlorination facilities; and offtakes for future expansion.

Contract 1  
Primary Line to Maseru: 36Km of 120mm – 800mm diameter steel pipeline including Mpilo Resevoirs 1 and 2

Contract 2  
Secondary Line to Mazenod, Roma and Morija: 63Km of 660mm – 200mm diameter steel pipeline

Contract 3   
Secondary Line to Teyteyaneng: 25Km of 460mm – 300mm diameter steel pipeline

      Key Milestone Dates

  • First water delivery to Roma, Mazenod and Morija – September 2014
  • First water delivery to Teyateyaneng – January 2015
  • First water delivery to Maseru, High South Reservoir – March 2015
  • First water delivery to Maseru, Mpilo Reservoir – May 2015
  1. Advance Infrastructure
  • North Access road from Motsoeneng to Metolong
  • Two vehicular bridges at Ha Makhoathi and Ha Nchela
  • South Access Road including Liphiring Bridge
  • Gravel Access roads including a vehicular and pedestrian bridges
  • Bulk Power Supply to the dam site
  • Telecommunications
  • Rural electrification to 80 villages connecting 5,055 households and 20 schools
  • Rural Water Supply and Sanitation to 80 villages including 5,789 VIPs
  1. Environmental and Social Management Programme
  • Resettlement and compensation with 2700 house having been paid a total of M52million and 5 houses build for 5 physically displaced households
  • HIV and AIDS Management
  • Integrated Catchment Management
  • Environmental Flow Requirements
  • Cultural Resources Management
  • Community participation

Programme Funding

Component Funder           


Phase 1 & 2

· Government of Lesotho

· Republic of South Africa (The African Renaissance and International 

· Co-Operation Fund)

· European Investment Bank

Metolong Dam · Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic


· Arab Fund for Economic Development in Africa

· OPEC Fund for International


· Saudi Fund for Development

· Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

· European Investment Bank

· World Bank


Treatment Works

· Millennium Challenge Corporation

· European Investment Bank

Downstream Conveyance System · European Investment Bank

· World Bank

Environmental and Social Management Programme · Government of Lesotho

· World Bank


To read more about Metolong Authority, visit its webstie here;

The Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (formerly the Joint Permanent Technical Commission) was established by the Treaty of 1986 signed between Lesotho and South Africa on the implementation of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).

The Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC) is composed of two delegations, one from each Party to the Treaty (Lesotho and South Africa). Each party has nominated three representatives constituting its delegation as well as an alternate for each of the nominated representatives. The two delegations are independent and report directly to their respective governments. The LHWC as a body reports to the two governments, through their Designated Authorities (Ministry of Natural Resources in Lesotho and Department of Water Affairs in South Africa). The LHWC is being coordinated by the Secretariat, which provides administrative support to both delegations and is the channel of communication between the LHWC and the outside world.

To be a world-class water resources development and management organization.

To efficiently and effectively implement the Lesotho Highlands Water Project in an environmentally and socially friendly manner.

Our values define our identity as an organisation. They also define operational qualities used to improve our performance. As an aspiring world-class organisation, we believe in:

To be responsible, sensitive, economical and protective of our resources, sense of ownership.

Discharge duties with efficiency, care and skill, conduct ourselves and work competently.

We get things done, Deliver quality output on time.

Unity is strength, Value the role and inputs of others; draw on strengths and skills.

Listening, effective information sharing, two-way communication.

Customer Focus
Meet the requirements of customers, with all our actions directed towards delivering value.


The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is a bi-national Project between the Governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho (GOL) and the Republic of South Africa (RSA). The Treaty signed between the two governments sets out the structures that are required to implement the Project on behalf of the two governments.

The Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC) which consists of three delegates per country, is accountable and responsible for the implementation of the Project. LHDA is the implementing authority of the Project within Lesotho, whereas, the TCTA is mandated to raise funding for the part of the Project that is in RSA.

The LHWP comprises water transfer and hydropower generation components with associated ancillary developments.  The water transfer component entails the construction of dams and tunnels in Lesotho, enhancing the use of water from the Senqu (Orange) River and its tributaries by storing, regulating, diverting and controlling the flow to effect the delivery of specified quantities of water to South Africa, and utilizing the delivery system to generate hydro-electric power in Lesotho.

Katse Dam Spilling

Mohale Dam Spilling

The major works of Phase I included the construction of the Katse Dam, the transfer and delivery tunnels, the ‘Muela Hydropower Plant and the Mohale Dam. The Phase II water transfer component comprises a dam at Polihali and a gravity tunnel that will connect the reservoir at Polihali with the Katse Reservoir. The envisaged hydropower component will comprise the Kobong Pumped Storage Scheme, or a similar scheme. The implementation of the hydropower generation scheme is subject to agreement on the outcome of a further feasibility study which is currently underway.

Polihali Weir

Read more about LHDA by visiting its website here

From 01 August, 2004 until April 30, 2013 the Authority was mandated with regulating the electricity sector. In 2007 the Government decided that the Lesotho Electricity Authority (LEA) should be transformed to be a multi-sector regulatory body assuming additional powers to regulate urban water and sewerage services in the country. LEWA officially started regulating both electricity and urban water and sewerage services sector on May 01, 2013.

The Authority independently deals with matters such as electricity pricing, complaints handling and resolution and the supervision of the implementation of the Quality of Service and Supply standards (QOSSS) by its licensees.


“To be a world class utilities regulator that facilitates delivery of affordable, sustainable and quality services.”


“To regulate the electricity, urban water and sewerage services in the interests of all stakeholders through transparency, consistency, professionalism and teamwork.”

Comments are closed.