Article 2(12) of the 1999 Draft Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, states: "Public authority" means: (a) Government at national, regional and other levels; (b) Natural or legal persons performing public administrative functions under national law, including specific duties, activities or services in relation to the environment, public health, sanitation, water management or water supply; (c) Any other natural or legal persons having public responsibilities or functions, or providing public services, under the control of a body or person falling within subparagraphs (a) or (b) above; (d) The institutions of any regional economic integration organization referred to in article 21 which is a Party. This definition does not include bodies or institutions acting in a judicial or legislative capacity.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends strengthening and improving the human resource capabilities of local governments in managing water protection, treatment and use, particularly in urban areas.
Article 4(6) of the 1999 Draft Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, states: The Parties shall require public authorities which are considering taking action, or approving the taking by others of action, that may have a significant impact on the environment of any waters within the scope of this Protocol to take due account of any potential impact of that action on public health.