The Institute of Water’s Northern Area has appointed a new President, Monisha Gower, Assets Director at Northumbrian Water. Outgoing Northern Area President Noela Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids at United Living handed over the role at Northumbrian Water’s offices on Wednesday, 27th September 2023.

Monisha, who has in-depth experience in delivering end-to-end, high-value projects/programmes and providing consistent and dynamic management, will begin the role immediately.

The Institute of Water is the only professional body dedicated entirely to supporting the careers of people in the UK water sector, and its purpose is to enable members to reach their full potential to drive the sector forward. The Northern Area is one of eight geographical areas covering the UK and the committee runs a varied programme of in-person events, webinars and development opportunities across the calendar year.

Upon being appointed, Monisha said: “It’s a real honour to take on the role of President for the Northern Area of the Institute of Water and I look forward to working with and supporting members during my time in post.

The Institute offers such great opportunities for its members to learn, develop and widen their network, whether they are already working within the water industry or are aspiring to do so in the future. Through such support and development, it can help our sector here in the North to become the go-to place to build a career.”

The Institute of Water thanks Noela for her brilliant commitment to heading the Northern Area for the past year, and welcomes Monisha to the IWater family.

If you would like more information about the Institute of Water, including becoming a member and how to get involved, then please email

From left to right: Noella Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids, United Living and Monisha Gower, Assets Director, Northumbrian Water.

Last Thursday evening (29th June 2023), the Welsh Area hosted the 17th Annual Innovation Awards at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. It was a great opportunity to celebrate innovation within the water sector and network with industry colleagues. There was a wide array of quality submissions and Kit Wilson, Welsh Area President and Steve Youell, former National Chair were on hand to present the awards.

A huge thank you to all of the applicants, judges and Welsh Area sponsor Pump Supplies, for their efforts in making the event possible.

And the 2023 winners are…

Clever Data Category:

  • Winner: EDM anomaly detection (EDMAD) model by Daniel Okereke & Willow Smallbone (Dŵr Cymru Data Team), Claire Thrift, Jacek Pijanka & Ifan Jones (Dŵr Cymru Wastewater Assets Team).
  • Highly Commended: Automation of Finance Reporting by Matthew Davies, Dŵr Cymru

Clever Data Winner: EDM Anomaly Detection (EDMAD) Model

Market Adaptation Category:

  • Winner: Optical, Chalk Dosing Trial By Alexandra Wilson, Gareth Jones, Scott Butler, Craig Davey of Dŵr Cymru, Arthur Doucin of Omya & Louise Durham of SNF. 
  • Highly Commended: Be PestSmart: choosing pesticides wisely By Dŵr Cymru, Water Services Science Catchment Team.

Market Adaptation Winner: Optical, Chalk Dosing Trial

Collaborative Working Category:

  • Winner: Hereford Collaborative Wetlands: Advancing Industry Knowledge, Confidence and Working Practices of Co Delivered and Co-Funded Water Quality Improvements by Vyvyan Evans & Elliot Burge of Dŵr Cymru, Herefordshire Council Planning Department, Herefordshire Council Built and Natural Environment team, Wye and Usk Foundation Design and Delivery team and Environment Agency Innovative Permitting Team
  • Highly Commended: Anaerobic Digester Foaming Research and Taskforce by Faye Ward, Ian Parry, Jonathan Dean, Chris Jones, Dave Holthofer (Dŵr Cymru) and Russell Mulliner (AD Ingenuity), Joe Merry (Stantec) and Andrew Bowen (Skanska)

Collaborative Working Winner: Hereford Collaborative Wetlands

Ideas Category:

  • Winner: A river-health-led approach to combined sewer overflows By Owain Morgan from ARUP
  • Highly Commended: ‘Smart’ maintenance By Technolog & Dŵr Cymru Wastewater Networks

Ideas Winner: A river-health-led approach to combined sewer overflows

Committee AwardBeacons Water Group, Dŵr Cymru Water Services Science Catchment Team!

Committee Award: Beacons Water Group

The overall Welsh Area Innovation Award Winner, who will represent the Welsh Area at the National Presidents Dinner is The Hereford Collaborative Wetlands project team for their collaborative wetlands projects which is advancing industry knowledge, confidence and working practices of co-delivered and co-funded water quality improvements.

Congratulations to everyone and thank you from the Committee!

Welsh Area Innovation Awards Committee with Kit Wilson, Welsh Area President

In April, we opened applications for the volunteer role of Young Persons’ Network National Co-Rep to help support our YPN.

We were elated to find two candidates of such strength, that we offered roles to both.

Welcome to Dr Natalie Lamb, National Water Industry Account Manager at QCL, our new National YPN Co Rep, and Astrid de Jaham, Project Manager at South West Water, our new National Vice Rep.

Natalie and Astrid will work alongside our current National YPN Co Rep, Abu Rashid, in helping our young professional membership navigate the various opportunities available to them and support them through their professional development.  

Both Natalie and Astrid are passionate about creating learning opportunities and are dedicated to diversifying IWater’s membership population through their work for the YPN.

Upon accepting her new role, Astrid said “I am elated to be part of an organisation that offers open access to professional development for everyone within the water industry. As the new Young Professional Network Vice Rep, I’m honoured and thrilled to represent young professionals within the water community. I look very much forward to making every voice heard and implementing actions to help boost YPN’s careers.”

Thank you to Emma Webster for her dedication and work as our previous National YPN Co-Rep.

If you would like to find more information about our YPN, please click here

In the first quarter of 2023, IWater’s environmental licensing body, Society for the Environment confirmed a greater number of new Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) registrations compared to any previous three-month period – an REnvP record quarter.

The record number of environmental practitioners joining the official register during this period is on par with new Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registrants for the first time.

Reacting to the news, Chief Executive of the Society for the Environment, Dr Emma Wilcox CEnv, said:

“As organisations continue to make steps towards a more sustainable way of working, more professionals with proven environmental competence are needed. Our aim is to have such professionals in every discipline. Our Technician, Practitioner and Chartered professionals are all playing a huge role in creating a more sustainable world.”

Emma adds; “With the introduction of the REnvP less than two years ago, it is heart-warming to now know that this has proven to be both an entry route and a progression pathway for environmental professionals that resonates as we hoped. If you joined the REnvP register in our record-breaking quarter on your journey to CEnv, or if REnvP is the perfect fit for your career, welcome to the community and thank you for leading the way.”

Rob Plews CEng REnvP, Associate Director at The Shadbolt Group, achieved REnvP during Q1 of 2023 via membership of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and noted:

“Bring a Registered Environmental Practitioner compliments my CEng Chartership from IOM3 by confirming that I work in a more varied field beyond core geotechnical work. As a modern geoenvironmental company, recognising that I, and others across the business, have a strong understanding of contaminated land – and how to deal with it – is vital.”

A popular route to REnvP registration is via membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Martin Baxter CEnv, Deputy CEO at IEMA, commented on the rising number of REnvP professionals:

“There is a growing demand for people with the skills to implement change for a cleaner, greener future. As businesses translate top-line sustainability targets into on-the-ground action, Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) status will become increasingly important as a mark of practical competence in environmental management and protection.”

By becoming a REnvP, you are highlighting that you have been judged by your peers who have found you to be consistently advancing and advocating good environmental practices. To find out more about IWater’s REnvP offering, click HERE

Language is important. It’s why I use Police Officer over Policeman, Chair rather than Chairman and why I put my pronouns in my email signature. Language is also always evolving, and I hope that even when I’m 70 years old I will continue to learn and change my language to ensure people around me feel included and supported. That’s why when I received a kind WhatsApp from a friend and colleague questioning a word I used in an email my stomach dropped.  

But, every day is a school day, and the experience taught me some things, which I want to share with you too…

I work in Public Affairs for Anglian Water, so when we were 6 weeks out from the local elections I circulated some guidance internally about impartiality rules during the run up to the local elections. This “pre-election” period means that there are limits on what prospective political candidates can do and therefore how we, as Anglian Water, should interact with them. As far as I knew, this pre-election period was known as “purdah”. I’ve heard this word used in water and political circles on a semi regular basis. When you google it, purdah is defined as: The pre-election period is the period in the United Kingdom between the announcement of an election and the formation of the new elected government. 

However, it has another meaning which I was unaware of. It describes the religious and social practice of female seclusion and segregation prevalent among some Muslim and Hindu communities. Looking into it further I learnt that purdah takes two forms: physical segregation of the sexes and the requirement that women cover their bodies so as to cover their skin and conceal their form. The word itself is derived from the Hindi-Urdu and before that Persian word “Pardeh” meaning to cover up, wrap or hide.  

It turns out that some organisations have stopped using the term to describe the pre-election period, as they feel comparing the experience of women who choose to or are forced to carry out physical and social separation is by no means the same as the very small limitations put on prospective parliamentary nominees.  

I have subsequently changed the wording of the guidance to simply say “pre-election period” and have had some really interesting conversations with colleagues as a result. I have spoken to a Muslim friend, who reminded me that of course, not all Muslims will have the same view on whether or not the term should be used in the political context, or whether it could be deemed as insensitive.

What this experience has reminded me though, is about the importance of language in DEI. I am sure there are other words and phrases which have origins we would be uncomfortable with if we fully understood them.

Please share some with me if you know of any! 

-Lydia Dareheath CEnv, Public Affairs Manager, Anglian Water Services Limited

During a special set of events ahead of Earth Day, Engineers Ireland have today unveiled a new, exciting opportunity to their 25,000+ members – Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) professional registration.

The announcement comes ahead of World Earth Day and Ireland’s Overshoot Day, the day when human consumption outstrips nature’s resource budget for the entire year if everyone in the world lived like the Irish population.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Engineers Ireland are the first professional body based outside of the UK to offer CEnv registration to members. They join a collective of 25 professional bodies offering CEnv registration to members all over the world – with 15% of registrants being based outside of the UK already.

Dr Emma Wilcox CEnv, Chief Executive of the Society for the Environment, said “We see environmental professionalism as the vital component in our efforts to build a sustainable future. A workforce with proven, up to date environmental competence, commitment and overall professionalism must be in place across all sectors globally. The engineering community is major part of this, and we encourage current and future Engineers Ireland members to lead the way.

Welcoming the first professional body to our SocEnv family with their HQ outside of the UK is hugely positive. Environmental challenges do not stop at geographical borders. We look forward to broadening our Chartered Environmentalist community and facilitating further professional connections to address the challenges we face and turn opportunities into meaningful results.”

CEnv registration is the internationally recognised gold standard accreditation of environmental competence, commitment and professionalism. Its cross-disciplinary format serves to reflect the scope of sustainability – from engineering to agriculture, ecology to waste management. Professionals in every sector can showcase their knowledge and experience, encouraging positive, well-informed, trusted action in all professions.

It’s time to lead the way.

To become a Chartered Environmentalist with Engineers Ireland, applicants must first be a Chartered Engineer and must be able to demonstrate:

  • application of knowledge and understanding of the environment to further the aims of sustainability;
  • leadership in sustainable management of the environment;
  • effective communication and interpersonal skills; and
  • a personal commitment to professional standards, recognising obligations to society, the profession, and the environment.

To find out more about obtaining CEnv registration via Engineers Ireland, visit:

Engineers Ireland join 24 other professional bodies offering CEnv registration to their members, including IWater. To find out more, visit:

Do you want to be involved in the running of IWater’s Young Persons’ Network (YPN), helping it expand and thrive?

If so, we have just the volunteer opportunity for you as we are looking for a new Young Persons’ Network National Co-Rep!

Why apply?

Becoming a National YPN Co-Rep is a fantastic leadership development opportunity, helping build your management and organisational skills.

You can work on your own personal brand, as you will become a figurehead for the YPN, networking with like-minded professionals and sector leaders.

You can also grow your confidence and professional development as the role allows you to have a voice across different IWater Committees, learning how strategies are developed and organisational changes are implemented.

You will also be involved in national YPN events and speak as a representative of the network to our Board.

How to apply

We are looking for someone who is passionate about professional development. We want to further diversify IWater’s membership population, so we need someone who is willing to bring their own ideas on how we can achieve this.

We are also looking for someone willing to commit the time necessary to perform in this role, which works out to be roughly an average of 2 volunteer days per month.

To apply, you must be an IWater member, as well as a young professional working in or around the water sector.

Please send your CV and a cover letter on why you feel you would be the right fit for the role to Abbie Thornton. After you have submitted your application, we will be in touch regarding setting up an interview.

Applications close on May 2nd, 2023.

When asked why people should apply for the role, Abu Rashid, Market Improvement Lead & EDI Lead at MOSL and National IWater YPN Co-Rep said:

“I joined the Institute of Water and Young Persons’ Network to learn more about the water sector, build meaningful relationships, promote Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and have fun whilst doing all of this. Happy to say, I’ve made significant headway with all my goals – really grateful to IWater and the YPN for all my growth!”

If you have any questions about the Co-Rep position, please get in touch with Abbie Thornton.

Institute of Water’s Licensing body, the Science Council have announced that Professor Della Freeth has been appointed Chief Executive, starting on 1st August 2023.

Della is currently Executive Director of Education at the Royal College of Physicians and brings with her experience of working in a network of diverse professional membership organisations. She also brings expertise from research and senior leadership roles in four contrasting universities. Della said: “I’ve worked on several innovations addressing national workforce development needs, supported the emergence of new professional roles and promoted interprofessional collaboration. I am passionate about career-long learning and addressing barriers to career progression. I’m looking forward to working with and for the wide range of Science Council Members, registrants and stakeholders, to shape and deliver focused, increased impact.”

Adam Donnan, Chair of the Science Council, said: “Della’s strong grounding in science and academia combined with significant managerial experience makes her the ideal Science Council CEO. I look forward to working with her in the next stage of the Science Council’s growth.”

The current Chief Executive, Helen Gordon, will be leaving the organisation in late August to pursue a portfolio career in non-executive/trustee roles and leadership coaching. Speaking of the change in leadership at the Science Council, Helen said: “Della brings a wide range of valuable experience and skills to the Science Council at a time of great opportunity for the organisation, its Membership and registrants, plus the wider science community. I look forward to working with Della to ensure a smooth handover.”

Since I joined IWater I’ve had an incredibly warm welcome into the IWater family and have learned a lot about both the Institute and the sector. It’s clear from conversations with members, volunteers, the Board and key stakeholders, that now is a good time for IWater to take stock of our purpose, our priorities and how we achieve them. Throughout 2023 we’ll be carrying out a strategic review to determine our future direction as an institute. And we want our members to help shape that future. 

Growing a thriving, impactful organization 

We have a wonderful organization, with a great deal to offer and we want it to thrive and create even more positive impact – for our members, our sector, our communities. And, we can’t overstate the importance of continuously developing the people in our sector, who have the privilege and responsibility for perhaps our most precious resource. 

However, IWater remains, as many have put it “a well-kept secret”. We know from the estimated numbers of people working in the water sector and our level of membership that we have a lot of scope for growth – in numbers, in capacity and in impact. Without growth, over time, we would begin to question our sustainability as an organization; and that’s not a future we want.  So, it’s important for any membership organisation to show people that the opportunities we offer are worth joining for, paying for and getting actively involved. 

What questions are we trying to answer? 

To be successful and impactful, an organization needs to have a clear understanding of the needs it exists to respond to and how it works to make positive change. We know that our sector faces some very big challenges and great expectations. We want to be relevant and contribute in a meaningful way to addressing those challenges. With the fast pace of change today, organizations have to be able to adapt and even change direction when needed. So, we’ll ask a lot of questions to a lot of people that will help us answer: 

– What impact do we want to make? 

– How do we grow that impact through our membership? 

We’ve recruited a great volunteer Steering Group to drive the process. We don’t know yet where this will lead.  It may mean some changes and even some tough decisions; it will definitely involve some rich conversations.  

How can you get involved? 

We want to talk to a good mix of people who are interested in our future. Our first priority is to create opportunities for our members to give their input. Each member has insights and inputs that we need for this conversation.  

We hope to have an in-person session in all areas. So far, we can confirm: 

Meet the Scottish Area Committee & Bowling Social Fri 17/03/23 15.00 – 19.30

If you can’t get to the in-person meetings, don’t worry, there will be five online consultations as well: 

Wed 15/03/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Tue 04/04/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Wed 10/05/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Thu 15/06/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Plus a session for members of the Young Person’s Network – date to be confirmed 

It’s also important that we get a good understanding of how we’re seen by our peers, partners and the wider sector. We’ll be making sure there are opportunities to have that valuable dialogue and input into the review. 

We have a terrific foundation to build on and we have a great opportunity to strengthen IWater and increase our impact. Together, we will arrive at the answers and a clear direction. 

Gaby Mandell, CEO, Institute of Water

At our 2022 Annual Conference in Leeds, Professor Tony Conway gave our participants a tongue-in-cheek humorous presentation on “How Not to Collaboratively Innovate”.

Fitting right into the theme of ‘Great Expectations’, Tony successfully broke the mould of generic innovation speeches and turned the topic on its head.

Tony with his research partner has now converted his fantastic presentation into a pamphlet, seeking to shine a light on collaborative innovation by looking through the alternative lens of how to be “world class” at preventing collaborative innovation.

Please feel free to share this pamphlet far and wide with colleagues, friends, and family. We hope you find the top-tips on preventing collaborative innovation insightful, and amusing, much like our Annual Conference participants did!  

If you would like to find out more about how to actually make collaborative innovation happen, please follow the link in the pamphlet to the Industry Guide. To contact Tony to enquire about his availability to share his innovative thinking at your event, please email him at

To access the pamphlet, please click here.