“If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin”.Charles DarwinThis study is conducted to transfer knowledge and get lessons learnt from the reform experience in Egypt to Syrian water sector. It reviews the holding company for drinking water and wastewater (HCWW) in Egypt with brief description of its external environment. It discusses the possibility of application of the HCWW to water supply and sanitation utilities in Syria. Besides; the study discusses the compliance of the Egyptian case study with IWRM principles. The assessment focuses on five principles: autonomy, working environment, accountability for results, customer and market orientation.Governance issues and the weakness of institutional set up of the water sector in both countries have resulted in financial, organizational and technical challenges with direct environmental, social and health impacts. With slight difference between the two countries; coordination problems were more severe in Egypt before the reform than in Syria.