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We have long-standing relationships with partners from industry, academia, government and regulation, and the third sector.

With the support of our dedicated team, we work with stakeholders in various ways. For example:

  • We work closely with partners to co-design and co-deliver impactful research with real world benefits.
  • We train the next generation of water professionals by co-supervising over 120 PhD students undertaking business relevant research.
  • We share our knowledge and expertise with our partners, providing valuable input on water-related issues, for example by engaging in consultations and contributing to advisory boards.
  • We organise regular meetings and events with our partners.
  • We are always open to hosting external groups who are working in the freshwater domain in our facilities.


We greatly value our many industrial stakeholders who allow our academics to apply their skills to important practical issues and realise tangible positive outcomes from their research.

Prof Tony Harrington, Director of Environment at Welsh Water, starting a discussion on DCWW's strategy with researchers from the Institute.

As an example of our involvement with industry, we have an extremely successful partnership with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW). Our collaboration includes extensive knowledge exchange and advisory activities. We also work closely together through shared staff members, co-designed research projects and co-supervised PhD students.

One example of our work with DCWW is our resilience study which informed their 2050 strategy.

The real strength of the Water Research Institute lies in the mix of different skills and of different bodies that we have around the table.

Professor Tony Harrington, Director of Environment at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water


We are proud to be part of the GW4 Water Security Alliance – a collective of over 200 water researchers from Cardiff University and the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter.

The GW4 Alliance is bringing together expertise from a variety of disciplines and organisations across the region to create a powerful research group that can have a real impact on the global water security crisis.

Dr Sarah Perkins Former Director of the GW4 Alliance and Executive Director of BBSRC

Beyond our academics' extensive international links, the Institute has built a network of international partners from a diverse range of countries. This network allows us to effectively collaborate on and contribute to water research in conditions and climates vastly different to those found in the UK.

Our partners allow us access to on-the-ground resource and insight for overseas research projects, in addition for opportunities to share expertise and best practice.

Prof Isabelle Durance during the Water Research Institute's visit to the University of Namibia for the Phoenix Waters project. ©PaulCrompton

Government and regulators

We recognise the vital roles of government and regulation in the world of freshwater and maintain good relationships with all relevant UK organisations. In particular, we have very strong links with Welsh Government and regulatory partners.

Our strong working relationship with the Welsh Government is core to our identity as a Welsh university. We have advised the Welsh Government on a range of topics including the management of Welsh rivers and the issue of microplastics pollution.

Welsh Government have also provided opportunities for PhD students to undertake secondments in the environmental policy team.

The DURESS project, led by the Water Research Institute, has helped to inform our legislative and institutional reform and [...] decisions on future restoration and creation of ecosystems habitat here in Wales.

Matthew Quinn, Former Director of Environment and Sustainable Development at Welsh Government
Prof Steve Ormerod and PhD Student Fred Windsor presenting their findings on microplastics at the Welsh Government.

We have a very strong partnership with Natural Resources Wales which encompasses appointments of WRI academics to NRW’s board, co-supervised PhD research projects and significant knowledge exchange between the organisations.

Third sector

The third sector plays an important role in addressing the challenges of freshwater and constitute an important group of partners for us. Our third sector partners bring deep understanding of the needs of communities and ecosystems and the ability to deliver outcomes which may not be possible through public or private sectors.

We currently have co-supervised PhD projects and are engaged in research with a range of our third-sector partners, including:

Murray Biedler, Water Division Coordinator at UNESCO, highlighting the importance of water security at the 2019 GW4 WSA Conference.