Adam Donnan
28 June 2022

IES named as inheritor to the Foundation for Water Research

Splash of water

We are delighted to announce that we will be extending our activities around the supply, conservation and stewardship of water, after being selected by the Foundation for Water Research (FWR) trustees to continue the FWR’s legacy, vision and mission. 

After an extensive search and assessment process, the FWR trustees chose the IES as the inheritor organisation for the FWR on the strength of our commitment to continue the mission and outputs of the FWR within the broader IES family. The FWR name, brand and activities will be housed within the IES as a new community, in a model similar to the support that the IES has given the IAQM (Institute of Air Quality Management) and CHES (Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences).

The FWR was created in 1989 as part of the privatisation of the water industry. Its remit was to fund a five-year core programme of research by the newly formed WRc plc, covering FWR members’ interests. Some 488 reports were produced during the life of this programme. In 1993, as the end of the core programme approached, FWR began to commission work from government stations, private companies and university departments. In 1999, it began publishing its popular ROCKs (Reviews of Current Knowledge) and in 2001 the FWR became a charity with an educational and knowledge transfer role.

Eric Valentine, Chair of FWR, said:

“The Foundation for Water Research is delighted to pass on its legacy to the Institution of Environmental Sciences, which is ideally placed to deliver our legacy into the future. IES is a dynamic, interdisciplinary organisation which will take the FWR mission forward while it expands its engagement in the water sector.”

Julie Hill, Chair of the IES, said:

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as the inheritor organisation for the FWR. The IES is very strong in the areas of land and air, and the addition of the FWR legacy and expertise strengthens our water expertise and allows the organisation to provide a truly holistic approach to environmental challenges.” 

Adam Donnan, CEO of the IES, commented:

“I am excited at the opportunity this creates to explore the water sector’s interaction with other environmental specialisms. The IES can extend the reach and impact of FWR’s work, creating a lasting legacy for the FWR and opening up a new chapter in the development of the IES.”

The handover will be marked at an event on 21st July at the Houses of Parliament. At the event, the FWR and the Freshwater Biological Association will be launching their new publication, the Freshwater Biology and Ecology Handbook.

Over the coming months we will be making a series of announcements about new activities in the water domain and chances for IES members to get involved.

For further information please contact Adam Donnan, IES CEO (