Philip Fletcher was the Department of the Environment's deputy secretary in charge of cities and countryside when water was privatised.
Environment minister Elliot Morley said:
'I am delighted that Philip Fletcher has accepted this appointment.
His years of experience working within the water sector will be an asset to the WSRA as it establishes itself as the new water regulator, and in meeting the challenges it faces in its expanded role. I look forward to continuing the good working relationship we have always had in the past.'
Before becoming director general in 2000, Mr Fletcher was receiver for the Metropolitan Police District from 1996. He was also director of central finance at the newly-created Department of the Environment where he was involved in the process leading up to the privatisation of the water industry in England and Wales in 1989. He was appointed as chief executive of PSA Services (the former Property Services Agency) in 1993. When he had completed its privatisation, he transferred to head the Cities and Countryside Group in DoE in 1994.
Mr Fletcher was awarded the CBE in the new year honours for services to the water industry.
He will be paid£100,000 a year for up to three days a week. His appointment is for five years.
1. The appointment of the WSRA chair has been made after an open recruitment process and in accordance with the best practice code issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However in accordance with the Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointees to declare publicly any political activity. Philip Fletcher confirmed that he had no political activity to declare.
2. The appointment of the Chair of the WSRA is made in consultation with the National Assembly for Wales.
3. The WSRA replaces the Director General of Water Services from 1 April 2006, as provided for in Section 34 of the Water Act 2003. The Government believes that having a regulatory Board will encourage consistent and transparent regulation. The Better Regulation Task Force reached the same conclusion in its report on the Economic Regulators in 2001.