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The Minister of Water and Sanitation issued notice of the establishment of Amatola Water in the Government Gazette of 14 November 1997, authorising the organisation to operate as a water services provider within an initial services area of 11000km².
In 1998 Amatola Water started providing water services primarily to municipalities, as provided for by the Water Services Act (Act108 of 1997). Sections 29 and 30 of the legislation state that the primary activity of a water board is to provide bulk water services, secondary activities being subject to such activities not affecting the water board´s primary role and capability.
By 2008 Amatola Water´s services region had increased by 34 800 km² to 45 800 km² in extent. The area of operation covers a tract of the central Eastern Cape Province, encompassing most of the Amathole and Chris Hani District Municipalities together with lesser portions of the Ukhahlamba and Cacadu Districts.