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FAOLEX Database

Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply
No legislation available

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 15 September 1975

Natural resources: The sovereignty of Papua New Guinea over its territory, and over the natural resources of its territory, is and shall remain absolute, subject only to such obligations at international law as are freely accepted by Papua New Guinea in accordance with this Constitution (section 2.2). The State takes effective measures to control and actively participate in the national economy, and in particular to control major enterprises engaged in the exploitation of natural resources (section 3.6). The Constitution’s fourth goal is a wise use to be made of natural resources and the environment in and on the land or seabed, in the sea, under the land, and in the air (section 4.1), including the adequate protection of animals, fish and plants (section 4.3). This Constitution adopts the following laws related to natural resources from Australia: Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Act 1968—Sections 9 and 14; Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967-1968—Section 11(Schedule 5).


Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture
No legislation available

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage
Date of original text: 20 February 1973 (1998)


The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations
Date of original text: 20 February 1965 (2019)


Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems
Date of original text: 19 April 2001 (2019)

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use
Date of original text: 19 April 2001 (2019)
Date of text: 19 January 2012
Date of original text: 20 February 1992 (2019)

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment
Date of original text: 19 April 2001 (2019)
Date of original text: 20 February 1973 (2019)

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards
Date of original text: 19 April 2001 (2019)


Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system

Transboundary Waters

Transboundary effects; international basin institutions; international agreements; transboundary coordination; transboundary aquifers
No legislation available