Task Groups

Task groups are formed to further our understanding of the solutions available to address global water challenges. They perform a defined task over a specific period of time. This includes the production of IWA Scientific and Technical Reports, Manuals of Best Practice and Position Papers that influence policy and regulation. Participation in a Task Group is by invitation.

Task Groups cross the traditional boundaries between water science and practice, building upon the strengths of both to exploit opportunities to find solutions for complex water challenges. These solutions include exploring new technologies, and changing the way we approach water, wastewater and sanitation challenges. Water professionals wanting to address these issues will benefit from the support they receive by being a member of the IWA.

IWA policy on task group formation, evaluation and funding

  • A task group has a finite life and is formed in order to perform a defined task e.g. production of IWA Scientific and Technical Report, Manual of Practice, Position Paper, etc.
  • IWA or IWA Publishing retains copyright of all outputs from the task group (e.g. papers, reports, books). Each task group has a maximum life span of 3 years.
  • Annual interim progress reports are to be prepared for each Strategic Council Meeting.
  • Any request for funding must be explicit on what the IWA funding would support. Funding may cover reasonable expenses incurred in preparing the product – e.g. economy class travel, accommodation, venue hire; not salary costs, overheads or equipment purchase.
  • The IWA Board of Directors and Executive Director aim to encourage diversity of activity and will consider the relationship with existing task groups and other IWA groups when making decisions with regard to funding. No concurrent funding will be available for task groups on similar topics.
  • Funding will only be approved on the basis of an agreed budget for the task group.
  • The maximum amount of funding for each task group is €7,500.
  • There is a maximum funding of €2,500 per task group per year.
  • There is a maximum of €10,000 available for funding task groups per year – i.e. a maximum of 4 fully funded task groups running at any one time.
  • Costs will be reimbursed in arrears at periods of 12 months, 24 months, and on final delivery of the product. All requests for reimbursement must be supported by appropriate documentation (receipts, invoices, etc.).

Proposals for new task groups should be sent to Rachna Sarkari (rachna.sarkari@iwahq.org) who will arrange for them to be reviewed by the Strategic Council SG sub­committe (SC2SG).

Active IWA Task Groups

To learn more about Task Groups, visit IWA Connect Plus.

Membrane Bioreactor Modelling and Control – The main motivation for the initiation of the Membrane Bioreactor Modelling and Control Task Group (TG) is to lead the research community towards standardized criteria to model MBR systems.

Past IWA Task Groups

  • Centralised and Decentralised Wastewater Management – The Specialist Group on Sanitation and Water Management in Developing Countries has started to engage intensively with the topic of decentralised versus centralised sanitation and wastewater management.
  • Generalized Physicochemical Framework – A new task group is being established to enhance our understanding and representation of physicochemical processes. These reactions occur naturally in aquatic environments, without the need for a microbial mediator.
  • Land-use and Water Quality – The same land-use activities that create diffuse pollution also adversely affect the quantity of water, for example, rapid runoff (loss of water) in storm events causing flooding, then drier periods following the rain.
  • Mainstreaming the Use of Treatment Wetlands – For wetland technology to be accessible and its principles and mechanics understood by Water Professionals around the world, a targeted and concise dissemination strategy is needed.
  • Non-Revenue Water Management for Intermittent Supplies (IWS) – In many world regions Intermittent Water Supply (IWS) systems are prevalent. IWS systems can be defined as piped water supply service that is available to consumers less than 24 hours per day.
  • Performance Based Contracts for Improving Utility Efficiency – Today’s water utilities around the world are facing increasing pressures to improve their operational efficiencies. While many realize that they cannot do it all alone, they are also wary about how to contract out outside help.
  • The Use of Water Quality and Process Models for Minimizing Wastewater Utility Greenhouse Gas Footprints – The use of water quality and process models for minimizing wastewater utility greenhouse gas footprints is a newly established group. Two things are remarkable about this TG.
  • Meta-Data Collection and Organization (MetaCO) – The storage and management of data for long-term and use long after collection must account for the fact that the future purpose of the collected data is unknown at the time data generation. This Task Group aims to describe a number of data models, i.e. structured approaches to the management and storage of meta-data, which have been deployed successfully in recent years.
  • Good Modelling Practice in Water Resource Recovery Systems – The GMP2 TG is intended to evaluate the adoption of the previous STR, assess the state of WRRF modelling practice, and provide practitioners with updated and extended guidance to meet new challenges of the industry. Broadly, the motivations for this undertaking can be traced back to two root causes: broadening the focus of the first GMP STR, and the shift of focus from wastewater treatment to water resource recovery.

IWA Task Force (TF)

Task Forces are formed for a specific purpose or a special operation. The extent of participation required will be guided by the scope of activities agreed upon and will depend upon the willingness and availability of participants. It is anticipated that there will be ad hoc remote participation while the TF remains active.

  • COVID-19 Task Force – The Covid-19 pandemic prompted questions for the water supply and sanitation sector globally. The speed and extent of the spread of the pandemic mean that answers to these questions are needed quickly. While operators provide their services within a national context, scientific and operational concerns and insights are relevant across borders. The IWA convened a TF from amongst its membership, to provide the sector with an authoritative reference point regarding both the relevant science and operational matters.
  • Sustainable Development Goals Task Force – IWA will support and promote the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen the sector through professional and capacity development so that people and countries can pursue their ambitions in relation to water-related SDGs.