As a self-governing corporation under public law, the Ruhrverband develops its corporate goals in dialogue with its currently 522 members - cities, municipalities, districts, waterworks and businesses located in the Ruhr's river basin. They administer the Ruhrverband, which is subject to the legal supervision of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. At the same time, the Ruhrverband serves its members as a long-term partner and competent service provider concerning water management tasks.
Member contributions account for the largest share of the Ruhrverband's funds. The contributions are calculated on the basis of the volume and designated use of the water abstracted from the Ruhr or on the volume and condition of the sewage and stormwater discharged into the river. The fact that the Ruhrverband is responsible for the entire Ruhr river basin leverages cost synergies in human resources, planning, construction and operation. Planning across municipal borders facilitates economical solutions through alliances and networks. That's why the over 2.2 million people living in the 60 municipalities of the Ruhrverband's area pay sewage fees below the average in North Rhine-Westphalia - despite the region's topographical disadvantages and some small settlement areas in the Sauerland region.