Urgent solutions needed to meet SDGs

The Covid-19 pandemic we have faced this year has brought new challenges to the water sector. There is an even greater need to improve water quality and safety, with existing treatment processes now under the microscope. Positively, many scientists and engineers – including myself – are working to find solutions.


My main research specialty is membrane-based water reclamation technologies. I am strongly of the belief that wastewater treatment and reclamation is vital if we are to work towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. My research into this topic – which includes process optimization and practical application of technologies – has been adopted by a number of treatment and reclamation plants in China.


There is now a much greater focus within China on environmental protection, and indeed increased global attention on our endeavours. For instance, China also recently committed to become net zero carbon by 2060. These developments bring with them opportunities to share knowledge, and to collaborate with international partners on best practice – which is where IWA comes in.


My involvement with IWA began back in 2000, when I was invited to join the programme committee of an IWA regional conference. I then gradually began to participate in more IWA activities and as a result grew to be a better scientist with broader horizons and a stronger professional network. Eight years ago, I was honoured to be nominated as an IWA Fellow. And in 2020 I was delighted to be nominated as an IWA Distinguished Fellow.


IWA membership has allowed me to actively participate in specialist groups and events directly relevant to my research. Indeed, I have gone further and organised two events. Back in 2009, I coordinated the IWA-MTC for Water and Wastewater Treatment. While 2016 I managed the IWA-RMTC to encourage dialogue and information sharing between China and other countries.


If we are to tackle the biggest issues facing our sector, then engagement and knowledge sharing is critical to our success. I look forward to collaborating with as many of you as possible through IWA’s programmes, events and other opportunities.


Xia Huang

Distinguished Fellow and Professor at Tsinghua University, China
IWA Distinguished Fellow. Dr Xia Huang is Professor at School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Director of State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, and Distinguished Professor of Yangtze River Scholar, Ministry ... Read full biography