The urban water industry faces a number of challenges including population growth, climate change, and an ever growing need for well-functioning, digitally connected and liveable cities. In addressing these challenges, R&D can provide a vehicle for exploring and discovering potential new opportunities across all areas of water and wastewater services.

In this landscape, the Agenda has been developed to enable the urban water industry to rally as a collective and drive collaborative research, development and innovation that benefits the urban and regional communities we serve. The Agenda is designed to help the water industry prepare for and manage significant future challenges and provide a catalyst for taking full advantage of recent rapid advancements in technology and the industry’s growing appetite for innovation.

The Agenda consists of six high-level priorities to provide the basis for engagement, both within and outside the urban water industry:

  • Service delivery
  • Supply optimisation
  • Customers
  • Workforce
  • Liveability
  • Circular economy


R&D is crucial to inform policy development that meets the needs of both industries and communities dependent on a safe and secure water supply into the future.

Ongoing investment and support to build a solid foundation of new knowledge through R&D which prioritises the needs of the industry will be key to responding to future challenges.

A collaborative effort between WaterRA and WSAA, we worked closely with industry to develop the Agenda and build a shared understanding of future needs and opportunities for research. Our desire is that the Agenda will provide the basis for productive discussions, both within and outside the urban water industry, as we seek to collaborate on common interests and seek active and informed partnerships for high impact through efficient investment.


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