International Water Association

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Representing approximately 400 corporations in 130 countries the International Water Association (IWA) – a global non-for-profit organization and network of “water specialists” - is one of the largest members of the World Water Council (WWC) – a global policy think tank that promotes the commodification and privatisation of fresh water goods and services[1].[2].


IWA has its roots in two associations – the International Water Supply Association (IWSA) and the International Water Quality Association (IAWQ). These two organisations merged in 1999 to form the IWA. IWA’s vision is in “connecting water professionals worldwide to lead the development of effective and sustainable approaches to water management” with a mission to “create and foster a global network of leading-edge water professionals…”[3].


IWA views itself as a “fellowship of like-minded water sector specialists operating at the heart of innovation in both research and practice”[4]. With over 400 corporate members this like-mindedness is defined by a fervent support of the privatization of water services.


IWA’s 2008 World Water Congress and Exhibition – a lavish event in Vienna, Austria which hosted approximately three thousand prominent actors in the water industry – was sponsored by some of the biggest players in the water industry, including, Siemens, Suez Environment, Veolia Water, and ITT Corporation amongst many others[5]. The list of 205 exhibitors at the World Water Congress was a who’s who of the neoliberal global water market agenda. Some of the familiar names include, Siemens AG, Suez Environment, Veolia Water, Agbar Water, Berlinwasser Holding AG,Elster Metering – a global leader in the water metering business, Energie AG Wasser Gmbh, European Investment Bank, Global Water Intelligence, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd., Water Service Group and World Water Council (WWC) among many others [6].


  1. International Water Association (IWA),Home, accessed 28 October 2008.
  2. International Water Association IWA governance accessed 28 October 2008.
  3. International Water Association (IWA) Who We Are accessed 28 October 2008.
  4. International Water Association (IWA) Connect accessed 28 October 2008.
  5. International Water Association (IWA) Our Sponsors, accessed 28 October 2008.
  6. International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress and Exhibition: Exhibitors at IWA Vienna 2008, accessed 28 October 2008.