UKWIR is responsible for facilitating the shaping of the water industry’s research agenda, developing the research programme, procuring the research and disseminating the outputs. Funding from members is around £3.5 million each year. In addition to this, the members commit substantial in-kind resources through their active participation in programme development and project delivery. UKWIR also collaborates extensively with other agencies where such collaboration adds value, for example, in terms of providing financial ‘leverage’ or facilitating wider acceptance of the outputs of the research.  

Work is often carried out in collaboration with government departments and Regulators including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Environment Agency. Some work is also done in collaboration with research organisations internationally.

The majority of work is put out to open tender to a wide range of companies, academic institutions and other organisations in the UK and overseas. Project management is undertaken by both the water industry's R&D departments and by individuals employed by UKWIR.

The research programme is currently divided into the following topic areas: climate change; customers; drinking water quality & health; environmental quality; programme management; regulation; sewerage; sludge & waste management; toxicology; wastewater treatment; water mains & services & leakage and water resources.

A quarterly newsletter, UKWIR News is circulated widely.


New projects are added to the Research Programme twice a year, June and December but further projects are added throughout the year. 

Expressions of Interest are invited from potential contractors for all projects listed on the website. These are completed on the website and are conveyed automatically to the relevant Project Manager for consideration. 

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is displayed on the website when projects are advertised. 

A sample of UKWIR's model agreement, which includes standard terms and conditions, and which is provided with tender documents, may be viewed here.

The Tender Evaluation Guidelines used by our project steering groups are also available here.


The rolling UKWIR research programme is developed and updated through our two cycles each year. 

Key dates this year.

Find out more about current projects and those planned for next year on OUR PROJECTS section of the website.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Climate change - update of red-up tool Workshop
     Tue 12 July 2022 09:45
  • Microbial Standards Project Dissemination Event
     Thu 14 July 2022 09:00
  • Understanding the scale and impact of privately owned drains and sewers on sewer capacity
     Tue 02 August 2022 08:45
  • Board Meeting - Aug 2022 (BAU)
     Thu 18 August 2022 10:00
  • Converting sewage sludge to biochar - a review of options & feasibility
     Wed 07 September 2022 10:30