IWA LeaP Leadership Programme for Young Water Professionals

About the Programme

Embark on a transformative journey with the IWA LeaP, the International Water Association’s Leadership Programme for Young Water Professionals.

This initiative is your gateway to professional empowerment, realising your potential and expanding your horizons. IWA LeaP beckons for 12 exceptional young water professionals from diverse backgrounds and regions to rise to the leadership challenge.

Fuelled by curiosity and courage, participants will take part in a transformative journey.

Over 12 months, forge robust professional networks and enhance your leadership skills to become the leader that you want to be.

This immersive programme is your springboard to effecting meaningful change. It is not just about learning – it is about living the experience.

Prepare to be challenged, rewarded, and empowered as you elevate your strategic vision and leadership capabilities

Who is it for?

High-potential emerging Young Water Professionals who are looking to:

Transform their leadership – empowering them to think and act globally.

Build confidence to inspire and influence others – accelerating their impact at a local, societal and global level.

Learn how to adapt and thrive in ambiguous, complex, fast-changing environments.

Strengthen their foundations for future success, overcoming personal or professional barriers.

Raise their impact and visibility within IWA with the potential to take on leadership roles in the organisation in the Association over the coming years.

What will you gain?

Clarity and understanding of your leadership purpose, strengths and legacy.

Develop your leadership qualities such as compassion, courage and curiosity.

Expand your influence and impact to effect change locally, systemically and globally.

Greater clarity and confidence in how you lead and how you inspire and enable others.

Be part of a diverse group of Young Water Professionals, united by shared purpose within the IWA community

Selection process

Eligibility Criteria

The Programme is for those aged 18 to 35. Applicants must be at least 18, and not be older than 35 at the conclusion of the Programme (September 2025).

Applicants should possess a proficient knowledge of the English language to allow reading and discussion.

Applicants must have maintained active membership of IWA for at least one year at the time of application.

Applicants must demonstrate their leadership experience and capacity in the application process (e.g., sharing of professional achievements, experience in leadership roles within IWA, academia or their organisation, key volunteering roles, etc.).

Applicants should demonstrate a strong commitment to driving positive change within the water sector. This commitment should be substantiated by a track record of generating impactful and innovative ideas in the field.

What will you do?

4 days of retreat in a remote setting in November 2024.

4 hours a month of preparation and project time.

5 hours a month in virtual learning, coaching or project team meetings.

1 virtual session in September 2025.

Attendance at the 2026 IWA WWCE in Glasgow, Scotland, UK


May 2024: Open call for nominations

June 2024: Close call for nominations

July 2024: Shortlisting and interviews by the IWA Secretariat and the IWA LeaP Programme Committee.

August 2024: Announcement of the selected candidates at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Toronto.

November 2024: Retreat

Hear from the founding donors

IWA LeaP is supported by the EWL Endowment Fund. Founding donors Glen and Patty Daigger see that their generous contribution is a way of creating a lasting legacy.

“The thing about an endowment is that it is sustainable,” says Patty. “It is evergreen. It goes on forever.

“We are hoping that by doing this we will encourage young water professionals from around the world to step up and to become the next generation of leaders in the field and to carry the sector forward.

“From our perspective, our contribution is a start to grow something that contributes to the existing excellent YWP programme.”

Glen, a past IWA President, adds: “We understand how essential water is for human life and to sustain the environment. We understand what life as a water professional can mean, both for the individual, but also for the contribution that one makes.”

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