Assets - Asset Owners in Northern Ireland

A majority of Water Assets in Northern Ireland are owned by NI Water.

NI Water is a Government Owned Company (GoCo) – which is a statutory trading body owned by central government but operating under company legislation, with substantial independence from government. They are one of 26 providers of water and sewerage services in the UK. 23 providers are based in England, one in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland. They have offices across Northern Ireland, with a Head Office based in Belfast, and they employ 1400 people to deliver water and wastewater services. Northern Ireland is one of the few regions in Europe without domestic water or sewerage charges. Over 65% of their income (around £269m) is in the form of Government subsidy.

Different ownership models operate across the UK water sector. The providers in England are privately owned companies, Wales has a not for-profit company, Scotland has a statutory corporation and Northern Ireland has a Government Owned Company. Water charging in NI is contained within the Domestic Rates Bill which is an annual charge for services.

The majority of NI Water’s activities are not undertaken in competitive markets and are therefore subject to economic regulation by the Utility Regulator. Water regulation (as in Scotland) is on a ‘one-to-one basis’. The Utility Regulator also regulates the gas and electricity markets in Northern Ireland. The Utility Regulator benchmarks NI Water’s performance against the comparator set in England and Wales. The results of this analysis are published by the Utility Regulator in an annual Cost and Performance Report.


Some water assets are community owned and have been sold from NI Water to local communities or organisations. One such great example is the former Carryduff reservoir that was sold off to a private owner who has now converted it into the Let's Go Hydro Water Park.

With the unseasonably warm summer that has been seen in Northern Ireland in the summer of 2018 this has been a massive boost to the local community and local tourism bringing visitors in from all around.