Piet Odendaal is the former Executive Director of the Water Research Commission in South Africa. In 2000, he was elected Co-President of the newly established International Water Association (IWA).
A professional chemist and philosophy academic, Piet Odendaal rose to prominence in the South African water industry and helped establish the Water Research Commission in 1971. That year his international career took off with a term as the Honorary Secretary Treasurer of the International Association on Water Pollution Research (IAWPR). Piet Odendaal soon became well established in the international water community and served on several committees and boards in leadership positions.
Piet Odendaal was Vice-President of the International Association on Water Quality (IAWQ) for 5 years before being elected President in 1998. Piet Odendaal and Vincent Bath, former Vice-President of the International Water Services Association (IWSA), played leading roles in the successful merger of IAWQ and IWSA to establish the International Water Association in 1999. At the launch of the IWA in 2000 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Piet Odendaal and Vincent Bath were elected the first Co-Presidents of the Association.
Piet Odendaal was conferred honorary membership in IWA in 2003.