Helping to secure our water cycle today and tomorrow by enabling research and innovation by connecting people.


Our team occasionally write articles that are intended to invite the involvement and contribution of the people and organisations the topics affect.  You can join the debate and comment by logging in with your account and sharing your thoughts.



Introducing the 4th Phase of the Chemical Investigations Programme - Jenni Hughes, UKWIR Strategic Programme Manager

For this month’s blog, we spoke to UKWIR strategic programme manager, Jenni Hughes. With ten years’ experience working on the industry’s Chemical Investigations Programme, she outlines what we can expect from the upcoming phase of this vital, ongoing project. Alongside this, she also offers her reflections on the experience of moving from leading water company projects, to coordinating collaborative, sector-wide research.

Published On 05/04/2024

Accelerating Progress in Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Water Industry

In recent years, significant steps have been made in the right direction for improving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the UK and Irish water industries. But, there is still room for improvement. With population increase, extreme weather events and aging infrastructure placing ever-growing levels of pressure on the industry, building a workforce able to cope with these demands has never been more important. Key to effectively communicating these increased pressures to customers is the development of a workforce that better reflects the diverse communities it serves.

Published On 02/01/2024

Opening access to our reports

On behalf of our members, we oversee the delivery, from concept, through research to peer-review and publication, of high-quality reports on varied topics every year – and have done so since UKWIR was formed in 1993. Our research covers a broad spectrum of topics crucial to the UK and Irish water industries, helping improve services to their customers, economies, and the environments they support. Our work helps to protect and improve drinking water quality, assess how we can prevent “forever chemicals” entering water courses, ensure bills are affordable and investment delivers better value for customers and the environment. We’re also enabling better ways of planning for and securing the water we need in the future, reducing the use of combined sewer overflows and helping the industry move to operational net zero carbon emissions.

Published On 28/02/2022

Our first step towards a centre of excellence

At the risk of making too obvious a pun, I’m delighted that Spring has sprung.  Carly, Shaunna and everyone else involved have done a fantastic job in turning an idea in a strategy into something much more real. That they achieved this in just over six weeks after being appointed in July is astonishing.  I’m also grateful to the UKWIR board and water company CEOs for the confidence they had in us to incubate Spring. We were keen not to stifle the creative process while making sure the team had the support and guidance they needed.  One of the team’s biggest successes is managing to engage with – and reflect the needs of – so many different stakeholders. Not just from within the water sector, but just as importantly with the supply chain, academia, and innovators.

Published On 29/09/2021

Looking towards a more collaborative future

Our recent inaugural UKWIR annual conference was a chance to bring together different stakeholders from the water sector and hear from water companies, academics, the supply chain, government, regulators and other industrial sectors. Of course, it was a virtual event and while it concluded a challenging year it strikes me that, in 2020, we too have had to adapt and innovate more than ever to keep UKWIR’s important work at the forefront of the water sector.  I am also of the view that the recent publication of the Water Sector Innovation Strategy, the announcement of the Ofwat Innovation Fund and the creation of a new Centre of Excellence have also been catalysts for change too, including culturally and philosophically. Why? They have encouraged greater collaboration in the sector as a whole. 

Published On 12/01/2021

Steve Kaye, CEO of UKWIR gives his perspective on the opportunities associated with the new Water Innovation Strategy.

The challenge laid down by Ofwat to develop a strategy to guide the delivery of transformational innovation in the areas where rapid progress is most needed has been taken on with energy and enthusiasm by the water sector. The publication of the UK’s first innovation strategy lays a path for a very different future for water in the UK and there has been no shortage of collaboration along the way – something which we at UKWIR have had the privilege of facilitating. It is, I hope, a defining moment for the sector and one which will fundamentally change how we work together in the future to deliver for more for customers, society, and the environment. It will enable the sector to scale-up innovation more efficiently, avoiding duplication and ensuring our combined effort is focused on the areas that will deliver the greatest transformation.

Published On 05/08/2020