IWA Specialist Groups work on specific topics or in well defined areas, sharing in-depth knowledge among group members on that topic. An IWA Cluster is formed to facilitate systematic “conversations” across IWA Specialist Groups, addressing crosscutting issues that are of relevance to individual Specialist Groups, but which extend across one or more Specialist Groups.
Clusters also reach out to external partners that are beyond the traditional water sector, for example, organisations such as the International Society of Microbial Ecology. Clusters can be tightly defined with a founding TOR to clearly establish its objectives, the topics to be addressed, its membership, way of working and its steering committee; or loosely defined to bring together closely related Specialist Groups to share plans and experience, and to foster cooperation and joint activities.
The topics and scopes of cluster are reviewed every five-year to ensure they are still doing relevant work for the water sector. There are currently three clusters: the Alternative Water Resources Cluster, the Bio Cluster, and the Resource Recovery Cluster.