IWA – home and showcase for water talent

The International Water Association is a global home for expertise and leadership across the realm of water. And as well as being a source, it is also a global showcase for that expertise and leadership. It provides this showcase by giving recognition to the talented individuals and organisations within and beyond its membership who shape the direction of travel on water – those whose insight and imagination brings groundbreaking solutions to the fore, those whose passion and commitment propels them to lead, driving the policies, projects and organisations that deliver action.

IWA provides this recognition of water talent in a range of ways. The most prominent of those are summarised below. Together, the individuals and organisations acknowledged form IWA’s ‘wall of fame’. But these are just the most visible acknowledgements. As a truly global, member-led association, all those past and present who have played their part, participating as members and contributing their time and energy in all manner of ways, whether through publications, presentations, or leadership and organising positions, deserve recognition for their role in building the IWA of today. Along with those recognised in other ways, such as through IWA’s programmes, events, or Specialist Groups, they all form part of this wall of fame.

Presidential Roll of Honour

Of all the IWA leadership positions, that of President is, by definition, the preeminent one. Voted into the role by IWA’s Governing Assembly, IWA’s Presidents take on the responsibility for leading what is a diverse global organisation. They bring their energy and vision to bear on this task, and are instrumental in channelling the commitment, influence and expertise of the whole organisation to advance IWA’s strategic goals. After their time as President, these individuals are recognised in the Presidential Roll of Honour comprising the past Presidents of the association.

Past IWA Presidents

Diane d’Arras

President: 2016-2020

Norihito Tambo

President: 2001-2003

Vincent Bath

President: 2000-2001

Presidential Roll of Honour

Helmut Kroiss

President: 2014-2016

László Somlyódy

President: 2004-2006

Presidential Roll of Honour

Glen Daigger

President: 2010-2014

Michael Rouse

President: 2003-2004

Presidential Roll of Honour

David Garman

President: 2006-2010

Piet Odendaal

President: 2000-2001

Details of past Presidents are included here.

Honouring Member Contributions

Specific recognition for the part played by the most committed and influential members is given through the IWA Member Honours programme. This includes lifetime Honorary Membership. It also includes the Outstanding Service Award and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Water Management & Science. These awards have their roots in IWA’s predecessor organisations. The Member Honours are presented during the World Water Congress & Exhibition.
For an overview of the Member Honours, see https://iwa-network.org/iwas-recognition-awards-programme/

Details of those who have received Member Honours are included here.

Fellows and Distinguished Fellows

IWA members who have made substantial contributions to the water sector and to IWA itself may be recognised as Fellows or, in some cases, as Distinguished Fellows. But this designation is about more than recognition – the Fellows and Distinguished Fellows are a unique community within the association. They are a group known for their guidance and leadership in the world of science, technology and management and they contribute to the IWA network on an ongoing basis.

For more details on the IWA Fellows and Distinguished Fellows, see https://iwa-network.org/iwa-fellows/

Global Recognition

Centrepieces of the ways IWA provides recognition are the Global Water Award (https://iwa-network.org/global-water-award/), the Gender Diversity and Water Award (https://iwa-network.org/iwa-gender-diversity-water-award/), and the Young Leadership Award (https://iwa-network.org/iwa-young-leadership-award/), which are presented at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, and the Water and Development Awards for Practice and for Research (https://iwa-network.org/development-awards/), which are presented at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition.

For an overview of the Awards, see https://iwa-network.org/awards/

IWA’s History and the pioneers who contributed to it

IWA as an association spanning the water sector was formed in 1999 but its heritage stretches back much further, to 1947. In this sense, IWA owes a debt of gratitude to its predecessor organisations. That rich history was brought together in 2022, marking the landmark 75th year in the association’s heritage, thanks to a dedicated project to set down IWA’s history. This gives recognition to those predecessor organisations and the dedicated people behind them, including the notable pioneers who shaped that history.

Read about IWA’s heritage and the people who built the association at https://iwa-network.org/iwahistory/