Paul Valleley

Young professionals will be gathering in Norwich this month to discuss how to drive sustainability in the water industry.

The 17th International Water Association (IWA) Young Water Professionals conference from March 30-April 1 is being hosted by Anglian Water and the University of East Anglia (UEA). This year’s event will see guest speakers from water companies, regulators and academic institutions discussing the global issues affecting the industry.

The activities at the event will be based around the three key themes of people, planet and profit. Researchers from the UK and further afield will be presenting some of the latest academic papers on sustainability in the water industry across the globe. These include a behavioural study of the way people use showers, an exploration of drought proofing projects in Australia, a look at treating sludge for agricultural use in Africa and a plan to create a biodiversity index in Bristol.

The expert speakers at the event include Professor Kevin Hiscock, Head of the School of Environmental Sciences at the UEA, Paul Valleley, Director of Water Services at Anglian Water and Ian Limb, Head of HR at Portsmouth Water and Chair of the Board at the Institute of Water.

Paul Valleley said: “Looking at the papers which have been submitted for the event it’s clear that there is an enormous amount of very positive work taking place in the UK and elsewhere to reduce the environmental footprint of water supply and sewerage.

“With this event we want to share these ideas and challenges and create a positive networking environment so young professionals can forge new professional relationships. Access to healthy water and sanitation is a fundamental human right – but it also requires large amounts energy, resources and manpower. We must ensure we are employing innovation in everything we do so we can serve everyone, without harming the planet.”

Professor Kevin Hiscock said: “The new Sustainable Development Goals include a focus on drinking water and sanitation that encompasses the entire water cycle, including the management of water, wastewater and ecosystem resources.

“Striking this balance while creating economic growth is a challenge for the current and new generation of water engineers and scientists and provides the context for the 17th International Water Association conference.

“We look forward to welcoming young water professionals to UEA and Norwich for what will certainly be an exciting two days of activities.”

As well as presentations and workshops the conference will offer delegates the opportunity to network at a drinks reception and gala dinner in the heart of historic Norwich, and to see innovation in action at a nearby water treatment works.

The two day conference will also include a careers fair featuring some of the industry’s top employers. Any employers who would like to be a part of the event can contact for more details.

Tickets for the conference are £75 for IWA members and £84 for non members. To register visit or email