UK Flood Partnership launched to rival Dutch exports

Key stakeholders in the UK flooding sector came together on 19 September 2017 at the launch event for the UK Flood Partnership. The body aims to become a trusted public-private collaboration for UK flood risk solutions and advisory services while also bridging the gap between an industry described by many at the event as “fragmented […]

The UK Water Partnership: A Year in Review

“I commend this Annual Review to you. It highlights the varied and indispensable work that The UK Water Partnership is undertaking to catalyse and enable collaborative UK initiatives for the benefit of stakeholders and society more widely in the water space. I look forward to the next 12 months with confidence, and to a continuing contribution to the ‘Water First’ agenda.”
– Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP

Please click the link below to access the review:

The UK Water Partnership – A Year in Review

LITSoN Review of innovation in UK water utilities

The need for innovation in the water sector to meet societal needs is widely accepted. The recent UK Water Partnership LITSoN pilot (Linking Innovation To Societal Needs) provides an overview of innovation in UK water utilities, demonstrating benefits in terms of increased innovation alignment, better market information and opportunities for capability development, ultimately contributing to economic growth.

Building on previous work, this pilot led by Mott MacDonald during Q1 2017, involved 22 organisations from across Government, academia, non-profits and businesses – including water utilities representing over 70% of the regulated market. Participants completed a brief survey to provide an overview of their research and innovation programme. Projects were self-assessed for their impact on 11 societal needs, their current stage of development, timescales for progress and the business demand for commercialisation. In total almost 400 projects were included, with data shared amongst all participants.

The results identify ‘Zero leakage’ and ‘Zero water poverty’ as areas of relative weakness, as well as identifying ‘innovation hotspots’ with opportunity for further collaboration and efficiency in smart infrastructure, leakage detection, energy recovery and metaldehyde – amongst others. The data collected also provide market information on high priorities and unmet needs, to support SMEs and the supply chain in identifying partners for their innovations.

Work is ongoing to collect further data and provide a comprehensive review of UK water utilities innovation, with potential to extend the pilot to include the wider water industry and assess UK performance on a global scale.

LITSoN Proof of Concept – Report

LITSoN – Linking Innovation to Societal Needs Pilot

The UK Water Partnership Takes Half Day Slot at World WaterTech 2017

The UK Water Partnership worked with Rethink Events to provide the content for the second morning of the 2017 World WaterTech Conference held in London on the 21st and 22nd February.

UKWP Chairman, The Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP, kicked off the second day of the conference with a Keynote Address entitled “Gearing Up for Global Markets- Opportunities for Fostering Innovation and Commercialisation of Water Technologies in the   UK “.

Director Mark Lane then chaired three discussion panels which addressed current developments in the UK to address the three topical  issues of ” Too Much Water “,  “Too Little Water “, and cracking ” the Commercialisation Conundrum “.

Mark Lane commented ” This year’s attendance at World WaterTech, at over 200 delegates, was a record number. I am delighted that we were able to showcase what The UK Water Partnership is all about in front of so many key players in the water technology sector, and from so many countries. Addressing societal needs through the development and commercialisation of new water technologies to deal with the key issues of Too Much Water, Too Little Water, and how to enable young start ups in the water technology space to overcome the obstacles on the road to commercial success are all matters of great importance. The UK Water Partnership catalysed the views of the programme speakers and conference delegates to produce some valuable insights into these three topics”.

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World Water-Tech Innovation Summit

World Water Week

Accelerating collaboration and commercialisation for climate resilient water management 

The 2017 World Water-Tech Innovation Summit focuses on accelerating the adoption of commercially viable technologies to build resilience and meet the demand for sustainable water supply. It is a truly international event focusing on current and emerging markets and will be held in partnership with the Department of International Trade (DIT) and the UK Water Partnership.

Our Chairman Richard Benyon will be presenting the Keynote Address: Gearing Up for Global Markets: Opportunities for Fostering Innovation and Commercialisation of Water Technologies in the UK. UK Water Partnership Director, Mark Lane will be also chairing the following sessions during the conference: “Predicting and Mitigating the Consequences of Too Much Water”, “Predicting and Mitigating the Consequences of Too Little Water” and “The Commercialisation Conundrum.”

Now in its 6th year, the summit will address the need for greater collaboration between different stakeholders in developing a more holistic approach to water management, innovation and financing. 250 global water leaders will gather in London to evaluate current technologies and approaches for transforming waste streams into value streams through effective water re-use and resource recovery, investigate how to build resilience to climate change, while also exploring how data-driven efficiencies can free up capital for investment in new infrastructure.

For more information please visit  

February 20-22, 2017 – Hilton Tower Bridge, London

Which Way Water? – 12 October 2016

The UK Water Partnership hosted a workshop evening colloquium on 12 October 2016, bringing together the three sub-groups; Commercialisation and Economic Growth, Development and Implementation, and Research and Innovation. The day consisted of numerous themed break out sessions including presentations and open forum discussions.

This was followed by an evening session at Defra where guest speakers from the water industry lead a panel discussion and Q&A session.

Please see the summary report for outputs of the event. (ukwp-which-way-water)

HR Wallingford Fast Flow Facility

UK Water Partnership launches facilities register to accelerate innovation

The UK Water Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of a new publicly available and searchable register of testing and demonstration facilities, which will benefit water technology developers and researchers.

The Tapping the Potential report identified a clear need for researchers and developers to test new water technologies and processes in facilities that represent realistic deployment situations. There is already a wealth of research and testing facilities spread across the UK, yet it has been difficult to locate information about such facilities.

Funded by Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service and the Natural Environment Research Council, this facilities register allows technology developers and researchers to easily search and identify facilities that best meet their needs and to contact the owners and operators for access.  This will accelerate the route to market and abort unnecessary expenditure in replicating test facilities that already exist.

If your organisation has research and testing facilities and would like to add them to the Register, please fill in this short questionnaire and contact WRc: .


For further information about the UK Water Partnership, please contact:

Alexa Bruce, Secretariat, The UK Water partnership


UK Water Partnership’s Food, farming and water event highlights need for a collaborative approach

workshop expectationsA lively video featuring a Suffolk farmer experiencing water stress , Sainsbury’s Director of Brand Judith Batchelar discussing water usage in Kenyan bean production, and a catchment liaison officer from Scottish Water working with farmers on water quality issues, kicked off the highly successful UK Water Partnership’s ‘Sustainable Food, Farming and Water’ workshop on 10 March 2016.

A diverse audience of around 120 people from industry, government, civil society organisations and the research community attended this NERC-sponsored event, which explored recommendations made by Global Food Security champion Professor Tim Benton’s-led UKWP reports on water and farming.
Keynote speaker Sarah Hendry, Director of Floods & Water, Defra, said:

‘It was a really invigorating event: lots of people pooling their insights and perspectives on the relationship between food and farming and water.  I was particularly inspired by the practical examples of projects that are finding inventive ways to make water use and management more sustainable.  The workshop was a great example of how the UK Water Partnership can add value by bringing people together to drive innovation, with benefits for the environment and the economy.’

Five break-out sessions explored the following goals: improved water security through better planning and practical action; improved integrated modelling; enhanced agri-water knowledge exchange; empowering farmers, and increased water resilience in the global supply chain.

Melvyn Kay, Executive Secretary, UK Irrigation Association Ltd., said:

‘The workshop was informative, enjoyable and great for networking. One take home message was the need for better translation and communication if water utilities are to talk to farmers more: for example utilities talk in ‘megalitres’ whereas farmers use ‘gallons’.

Paul Hammett, NFU national water resources specialist, said:

‘I welcomed recognition that we need to improve farm profitability as well as farm productivity; we need to find a way to allocate a fair share of water to farmers so they can invest with confidence in growing the food we expect them to deliver.’

Tony Rachwal, Director of the UK Water Partnership said:

‘This event was very successful in bringing together the key players involved in food, water and farming. What struck me was the collaborative approach needed between farmers and the water sector to tackle these issues, such as to address flood alleviation and storage of water to prepare for future droughts and how to actively manage underground aquifers to store and recover water under farmland in the South and East of the UK. The UK Water Partnership’s Water and Agriculture action group will catalyse action on some of these identified needs in the coming year.’

The video of the event is available here and pdfs of the presentations here. A final event report is available here.


For further information about the event and the Partnership’s Water and Farming action group, please contact:

Dr Weihao Zhong

Secretariat, Research & Innovation Group, The UK Water Partnership

Natural Envrionment Research Council

Email: weizho(at)

Lord Maude endorses the UK Water Partnership

Francis Maude

Speaking at the World Water-Tech Investment Summit in London on Tuesday 23rd February 2016, Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade & Investment said, “Last year the UK Water Partnership was launched to bring together expertise across industry, policy makers and the research community.

The Partnership will enable the UK to respond more effectively to the challenges of global water security and the need for resilience in a changing environment,” he added.

Tony Rachwal, Director, the UK Water Partnership said, “The Partnership will help catalyse the translation of the UK’s wealth of leading environmental, social and physical science into practical and commercial outcomes.”

Mark Lane, Director, the UK Water Partnership added, “The UK has world-class expertise across the water technology sector and a key priority for the UK Water Partnership is to grow our share of the global water market, estimated to be $50 billion by 2020,” he said.

“The UK Water Partnership is a relatively young organisation, so recognition at ministerial level is a significant endorsement of the role that we are now playing in helping to establish the UK as an innovative powerhouse in the global water technology sector,” he confirmed.

India-UK Water Security Exchange delivers increased co-operation and new partnership opportunities for the UK water industry

A week-long visit to the UK by an Indian delegation of senior civil servants and research leaders with responsibility for the water sector has achieved its objective to develop knowledge-sharing links with key UK policymakers, regulators, researchers and water industry specialists.

A top priority for India is to harness international capabilities across water science, management and policy so that it can apply this knowledge to hasten the clean-up of its own rivers, in particular the River Ganga, through the ‘National Mission for Clean Ganga’ strategy.

With pre-existing parallel administrative and legal systems to the UK, the opportunities for India-UK collaborations to build water research, regulation and environmental protection capabilities are considerable. Clear openings for the application of UK scientific, technical and governance expertise were identified following the various presentations, seminars and workshops.

Once implemented, the water infrastructure and regulatory improvements will help deliver improved public health through better water supply and sewage treatment. These and other improvements to the freshwater environment will deliver enhanced water security and support economic development.

Commenting on the Exchange, Mark Lane, Director, UK Water Partnership said, “This Summit was announced in a joint statement issued by Prime Minister Modi of India and David Cameron in November 2015 and the UK Water Partnership, working with partner organisations, has played an important role to catalyse the
initiative and help make it happen.

“Deliverables from the Exchange are intended to include a summary of the main issues and an action plan. The next stage will be to appoint organisations with a view to implementing the tasks in the action plan,” he added.

The visit was supported by a number of organisations, including the British High Commission in New Delhi, the Scottish Government, Costain Group and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and was run by the NERC’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

Dr Harry Dixon from CEH said, “The UK is a recognised global leader in water with advanced capabilities in hydrological science, water innovation and the implementation of environmental and economic regulation. The links developed through this initiative will help UK organisations and companies build collaborations which will be beneficial to both the UK and India.”

Further information about the visit, including photos and presentations from the week can be found at:


For further information about the UK Water Partnership, please contact:

Alexa Bruce, Secretariat, The UK Water partnership