Structure and legal form of the Ruhrverband

The Ruhrverband is a corporation under public law. It looks back on almost 100 years of water management. In 1913, the former Ruhrverband and the former Ruhrtalsperrenverein (Ruhr reservoirs association) were founded based on Prussian special laws. The Ruhrtalsperrenverein already existed from 1898 until 1913 as an association under private law. With the revision of the Ruhrverband act (Ruhrverbandsgesetz) both water associations merged on July 1, 1990 to form today's Ruhrverband.

The association is a self-governing body but subject to the legal supervision of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The supervision lies with the Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection.

Municipalities and districts within the region as well as businesses and industrial enterprises discharging sewage are members of the association, as well as other businesses and public water suppliers and other water abstractors and power unit operators.

Since 1990, the Ruhrverband is based on an internal structure similar to that of a public limited company. The Ruhrverband's bodies comprise the Assembly of Associates, the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board. The rights and duties of these bodies are laid down in the Ruhrverband act, in the Ruhrverband's statutes, in the Executive Board's rules of procedure and in the rules of procedure for the associations's administration.

What are the benefits of the association principle?

  • Self-administration guarantees the participation of members when it comes to fulfilling the association's tasks and laying down the guidelines for the distribution of fees. It's in the members own interest to implement the "polluter pays principle", the guiding principle of modern environmental law. 
  • Since the Ruhrverband is responsible for the entire Ruhr catchment area, its activities can be based on the natural conditions and are independent of administrative borders. 
  • Working across regions, the Ruhrverband can leverage cost synergies when it comes to planning, constructing and operating its facilities. 
  • As a corporation under public law which can stipulate its own membership contributions, the Ruhrverband enjoys high creditworthiness and access to the favourable credit terms of municipal loans and other low-interest programmes of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Ruhrverband | Kronprinzenstraße 37 | 45128 Essen | Telefon 0201 178-0 | E-Mail [email protected]