IWA at 20
An influential confluence of people and ideas
In 2000 the International Water Services Association funded in 1947, and the International Association on Water Quality founded in 1965, joined together to form The International Water Association (IWA).
The International Water Services Association (IWSA), formed in 1947, was the premier international organisation concerned with the provision of water supply and wastewater management to homes, industry and agriculture. IWSA’s goals of promoting international freedom in the exchange of technical, scientific and managerial experience and expertise have brought wide support from all nationalities who recognise the value of an organisation whose ideals and actions are totally independent of particular ideological, cultural, religious and economic influences. IWSA strived to constantly promote it’s principal aims of securing a maximum exchange of information on all water-related subjects.
Just as the confluence of two tributaries become a more powerful stream, so IWA, the new association, has surged forth with more hydrological energy, diversity and complexity than its two sources combined. Over the next two decades IWA’s members – the world’s leading water professionals – would expand human knowledge by sharing experience and consequential solutions in print and in person.
Just as the confluence of two tributaries become a more powerful stream, so IWA, the new association, has surged forth with more hydrological energy, diversity and complexity than its two sources combined.
Over two decades IWA’s members – the world’s leading water professionals – would expand human knowledge by sharing experience and consequential solutions in print and in person.
From field to lab and from classroom to boardroom IWA’s current now embraces the entire water cycle. It integrates water into human development and trade. It explores and unlocks valuable new benefits at the nexus of water and agriculture, electricity, health, cities, industry and ecosystems. It unites us all.
Yet that initial confluence was only the start. Each year infuses new people and ideas into IWA’s current.
Phosphorous recovery. Regulatory risk-taking. Microplastic filters. Sponge cities. Wastewater’s DNA. Water quality markets. Quantifying non-revenue water. Nanotech membranes. Anaerobic digestion. The human right to sanitation. Digitising data. Tariff overhaul. Measuring Sustainable Development Goal #6.
IWA solves the world’s most urgent challenges by taking a ‘systems approach’ to water. Transcending quick technical fixes, this lets us set the global water agenda – linking research and practice, businesses and governments, hardware and humanities, efficiency and equity and ecology – in a way that endures.
Like all rivers, IWA’s currents remain dynamic. They flood and meander, adapt and respond to changing conditions. In a hotter, more crowded world, water crises of quantity and quality annually rank as a top global risk. For people, nature, government and business, water has become a volatile source of conflict.
Yet #IWAmembers can anticipate coming years with confidence if we only reflect on the first twenty.
What we see, past and future, is a constantly growing confluence of influential pragmatists, led by water luminaries who find opportunities where others see only crises, inspired by outstanding innovative professionals who predict a #WaterWise future – by becoming the ones who invent it.
Piet Odendaal and
Vincent Bath, South Africa
Anthony Milburn, UK
Jamie Bartram, Switzerland / Jisong Wu, China
"Sustainable Water Management Practices"
IWA key moments
Highlighting key moments of IWA is highlighting the history of the water sector. We look forward hearing from our heros, the world’s leading water professionals about the moments they deem key in IWA’s history.
IWA presidents and executive directors
Mr. Piet Odendaal
Mr. vincent Bath
Prof. Norihito Tambo
Mr. Michael Rouse
Prof. Lászlo Somlyódy
Dr. David Garman
Dr. Glen Daigger
Dr. Anthony Milburn
Mr. Paul Reiter
Prof. Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy
Global Water Award winners
Mark van Loosdrecht
Blanca Jimenez Cisneros
Catarina de Albuquerque