UKWIR 2021 Research Programme Launched

UKWIR 2021 Research Programme Launched

Published On 12/01/2021

UKWIR has kicked off the next round of its research programme that will deliver 12 new projects that will help the water sector meet the challenges of the future.

Most of the projects, selected by the UK and Irish water companies, are helping to answer UKWIR’s Big Questions – the water industry’s strategic research programme. The rest are focussed on important areas where the industry needs new evidence and expertise.

Expressions of interest are open, inviting interested parties to put forward ideas for how these projects can be delivered in collaboration with UKWIR and its members.

Among the projects soon to get underway is the development of a new climate change adaptation framework to enable the water industry plan for climate change in a consistent way. It must meet all the international, national and sectoral drivers, and bring together best practice from across the globe so the sector has a robust and trusted tool that it can use to drive investment decisions.

Understanding the costs associated with both operational and embodied carbon across the whole life of an asset is critical in investment decisions. A project to identify how best to calculate the whole life cost or carbon will be delivered so the industry can make progress against its ambitious carbon reduction targets.

Four collaborative workshops focussed on the Zero Leakage and Zero Supply Interruptions Big Questions are to be held to help fast-track progress in key areas including effective early warning and event management and customer communication. The workshops must bring together existing knowledge and good practice, share learning and expertise to identify priorities for further work.

The other projects that are included in part one of the 2021 research programme:

  • Water resource innovation workshops to understand and change customers’ water using behaviour; develop alternatives to freshwater abstraction and explore use of big data to help reduce abstraction from the environment
  • Identifying and transferring minimal excavation methods for use in the water industry to help reduce leakage levels
  • Impact of dynamic system changes on customer acceptability of drinking water
  • Two projects focussed on

o     wastewater microbiological standards and

o    wastewater disinfection methods and costs

  • Delivery of UKWIR’s weekly Wastewater Briefings and Alerts with relevant sector intelligence and watching briefs on key issues.

Further information on all these projects can be found at or contact UKWIR at
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is Friday 22nd January 2021.

Part two of the 2021 research programme will be developed and progressed later in the year.

Further information

Find out more about UKWIR’s BIG Questions at

Please click here to view more information.