The Big Questions

UKWIR, working in partnership with others, has taken a lead in the development of the water research agenda in the UK and Ireland by defining a strategic research programme to address the key challenges facing the industry, now and in the future.


Our overall ambition is to help create a sustainable water industry for the future. To do this we need to work towards creating a sustainable water environment whilst meeting both social and economic objectives.

The water industry faces increasing challenges. We have a growing population and a changing climate that is placing pressure on the industry at a time of unprecedented market reform and continuously rising customer expectations.

The industry’s response to these challenges should be informed by the very best research and investigation, conducted with a global outlook. This is UKWIR’s mission and has driven the launch of an ambitious strategic research programme.



UKWIR have developed 12 Big Questions to tackle the key challenges faced by the industry, now and in the future. These were identified through extensive consultation and discussion with our members and stakeholders. These questions are grouped under four different themes and are detailed below.


Big Questions Brochure 



If you would like to review our Project Programme for Big Questions, we have provided a search facility where you can review the outline of each project;

See All Big question projects