Water Climate Discussion

2023: Take Stock, Take Action

Please take stock of your climate action, decide what you need to do, then make a pledge:

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2022: Positive Tipping Points

The 2022 Water Climate Discussion took place on Thursday 3 November 2022, but there is still time to join us:

If you didn't join the 2022 Water Climate Discussion live on 3 November, we would recommend watching the recording and participating via the comments first:

2022 Water Climate Discussion

The discussion includes live talks from Peter Lefort, Jo Burgess and Martin Currie, along with numerous clips from over 30 contributors structured under Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance & Collaboration. Whole videos from each of the contributors are available here.

The WCD2022 Report is also available to read:

2022 Water Climate Discussion

Please take the WCD 2022 Survey and let us know your thoughts on what we should do next year, as well as giving your feedback on this year's Discussion:

2022 Water Climate Discussion

2022 Organisers:

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2021: Water is Climate

...and the water community is pivotal in both helping the world adapt to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We first came together in 2021 to collaborate and make a difference:

One voice

Together we started categorising water climate issues and their solutions and drafted the Water Climate Call to Action

Many solutions

The conference networking facilitated mutual support around a host of different water climate solutions. Please record your Action Pledge

The Water Climate Discussion series kicked off in 2021 with a set of five free online discussions held from May to September followed by a three-week interactive online conference in October. You can watch any of these events again or read the summary reports and other outputs, via the links below.

Timed to help us reach consensus prior to COP26, the conference brought us together in a progressive series of workshops, small group discussions and 1:1 conversations, aiming to facilitate world-changing collaboration & action.

We brought our outputs to COP and joined with the COP26 Water Pavilion for their closing session, then came together again on 2 December to reflect on COP26 and determine our next steps:

We're looking forward to your input - lets change the world together.

Thanks to


Heidi Mottram

Northumbrian Water Group Chief Executive Officer

...read more about Heidi

Heidi Mottram CBE has been Chief Executive Officer of the Northumbrian Water Group Limited and Northumbrian Water Limited since 2010.

This follows on from an excellent track record in the rail industry where her career began with British Rail in the mid-1980s. She progressed through a variety of senior leadership roles in British Rail and, following privatisation, in Great North Eastern Railway, Midland Mainline, Arriva Trains Northern and Managing Director of Northern Rail, the largest train operator in the UK.

She was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list 2010 for services to the rail industry and a CBE in the Birthday Honours list 2018 for services to the water industry and business community.

Mrs Mottram is currently a Board Member of Centrica, the CBI, WaterAid, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is also Vice-Chair of Newcastle University Council.

Under her leadership NWG achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development in 2014 and has been the only water company to be listed on the World’s Most Ethical companies list ten times. Northumbrian Water has twice been named the UK’s Utility Company of the Year under Heidi’s leadership. The Company was also named as Water Company of the Year in 2018 and 2020 as well as being awarded the British Quality Foundation’s UK Excellence Award 2018, one of the highest accolades any business can achieve.

Cate Lamb

UNFCC COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions Lead for Water

...read more about Cate

Cate Lamb is the UNFCC COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions Lead for Water. She is responsible for boosting ambition amongst the water community, showcasing water leadership and elevating the value of water in the transition to a zero carbon, resilient world.

Cate has been Global Director of Water Security at CDP since 2012, where she has built the world's largest coalition of non-state actors working to deliver a water secure future. She is also a Council Member of the Science Based Target Network, an advisor to Stockholm World Water Week, and a member of UNGC's SDG Expert Network.

Kathryn Pharr

WaterAid Sr Policy Advisor for International Climate Action

...read more about Kathryn

Kathryn is working at WaterAid to ensure that water and WASH considerations, particularly for the most vulnerable, are part of international climate action to ensure that we are able to sustainable and realistically meet our goals from the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, which cross-sectorially heavily rely on resilient water resources and services.

She founded the Community of Women in Water (CWiW) in January 2019 to bring together women working on water issues from around the world; CWiW currently has over 600 members.

Kathryn’s past work on water, climate, and science policy and implementation includes working with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, Arup, the Global Water Forum, the U.S. Department of State, and the University of Oxford.

Piers Clark

Isle Group Founder and Chairman

...read more about Piers

Piers is Chairman of the Isle Group Ltd. Isle is a technical, specialist, water consultancy, employing over 80 people and with offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the USA, Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Isle works with over 250 utilities around the world helping them identify and adopt new technology.

Piers was previously the Managing Director for the $1bn private equity fund Global Water Development Partners (GWDP), a Blackstone portfolio company. From 2010-14 he was the Commercial Director at Thames Water, the largest of the UK water companies. Piers was responsible for all of Thames Water’s non-regulated business activities. Piers also served as Interim Asset Management Director for Thames Water. Prior to joining Thames Water, Piers was Managing Director of Mouchel’s Regulated Industries leading a team of 3,000 staff providing engineering consultancy and operational maintenance services in the water, energy, environment and rail sectors.

In 2006, Piers helped establish an innovative funding mechanism for technology companies, called TAG (Technology Approval Group). TAG bridges the gap between venture capital investors and the water company end-users and has resulted in over $1bn being invested in water-related cleantech companies in recent years.

He is a Board director for the IFC-backed Haiti-based water kiosk business Dlo Haiti, and a Non Exec Director for Modern Water plc. He has a PhD in Civil Engineering.

Kala Vairavamoorthy

IWA Executive Director

...read more about Kala

Kala Vairavamoorthy is an internationally recognized water resource management expert, with a particular interest in urban water issues. He combines a strong engineering background with practical international experience. He has published extensively and has a strong international profile working closely with the World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNESCO, GWP, SIWI, ADB and the EU. He has led several urban water management projects for the EU, World Bank, African Development Bank and DFID. He is currently a member of the ADB’s Water Advisory Group.

He joined the IWA from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), where he was the Deputy Director General (DDG). He was the Founding Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of South Florida. Prior to that he was a full Professor and Chair of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Professor and Head of Core of Sustainable Urban Water Systems at UNESCO-IHE. He is currently Professor (adjunct) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM).

Kala has a PhD and MSc in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, London, UK and a BSc(Hons) in Civil Engineering from King’s College, London. He is also a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK).

Trevor Bishop

Organisational Development Director, Water Resources South East

...read more about Trevor

Trevor has been Director at WRSE since January 2019.

As Director for WRSE Trevor’s key responsibilities include strategy and policy for the development of a long-term Regional Resilience Plan across six statutory water companies in the South East of England serving some 20 million people. Trevor is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter.

Prior to his current role, Trevor worked at Ofwat, the economic regulator, for three years on long term assignment from the Environment Agency. At Ofwat, Trevor’s specific areas of work included resilience, environmental delivery, catchment approaches, clean/wastewater planning and aspects of PR19. At the Environment Agency, Trevor was Deputy Director of Water Resources which included all aspects of water resource regulation, strategy and operations.

Prior to the Environment Agency Trevor worked for over 10 years in the Water Industry with a wide range of both strategic and operational roles in several water companies. Key areas of responsibility included leakage, customer services and asset performance. Trevor also supports international engagement and is currently a member of the International Water Associations Strategic Council.

Annesley Crisp

Shop Window Project and Engagement Manager, Anglian Water

...read more about Annesley

At Anglian Water, Anna is responsible for engaging both internal and external stakeholders in the delivery of projects within the Shop Window, The Shop Window is a real location in our region, a platform where we can accelerate innovation for our business. The aim is to create an incubator of Anglian Water’s business for the future, by removing barriers to innovation, implementing innovative solutions and testing new ways of working across the whole water cycle. One of our six Shop Window Priorities focuses on ‘tackling climate change.’ Within this priority we work directly with teams and individuals to develop distinct focus areas which deliver short and long term results adding real value for the business. One of these focus areas is looking at EV and hydrogen infrastructure for de-carbonising our fleet, this work is being delivered in collaboration with Northumbrian Water and Yorkshire Water as part of our annual Innovate East event.

Katharine Cross

International Water Association

...read more about Katharine

Katharine has experience in water resources and environmental management from global to local scale with a focus on climate resilience and adaptation, nature-based solutions, water-energy-food nexus, water governance and the digitalisation of the water sector. She has worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America with NGOs, government, and the private sector.

Katharine is currently working for a number of organisations including the Australian Water Partnership engaging with Mekong governments and relevant stakeholders, the International Water Association on its strategic programs including climate-smart utilities, water wise cities and digital water and as a senior advisor for Water-Cities supporting the transition of cities towards sustainable water management.

Lucien Damiba

Regional Research and Knowledge Manager, WaterAid, West Africa

...read more about Lucien

Having trained as a hydrogeologist, Lucien joined WaterAid as a water security and water resource management specialist, going on to lead the West Africa Regional Learning Center for Water Resources Management from 2018 to 2019. Lucien is currently responsible for research, knowledge management and climate change in the region.

Lucien has over twenty years of experience in international development work, with a focus on climate change, water resources management, and project management.

Amanda Lake

Water Process Lead - Europe, Jacobs

...read more about Amanda

Amanda is a Chartered member of IChemE and committee member on the Water SIG, with 20 years experience in the water industry. She currently works for Jacobs in their European water business as process lead and delivers work in water and wastewater treatment and interrelated opportunities in resource recovery, circular economy and carbon.

Samuel Larsen

Programme Lead, Water UK

...read more about Samuel

Samuel joined Water UK in 2017, having previously worked in a variety of strategy, policy and transformation roles across consultant, water company, and government organisations. He is currently leading the delivery of the UK water industry’s Net Zero 2030 Routemap – the world’s first detailed plan to reach net zero operational emissions on a sector-wide basis by 2030.

Jodie Rettino

Catchment Management and Biodiversity Lead, Severn Trent

...read more about Jodie

Dr. Jodie Rettino manages the Catchment and Biodiversity Team at Severn Trent. She has been working at Severn Trent for 11 years and since joining the company has developed the catchment management programme from a set of investigations into on the ground schemes and business as usual. More recently the catchment management programme has expanded to include ecology, biology and biodiversity work on both the Companies own rural estate and 3rd party land. Across the industry Severn Trent’s catchment and biodiversity work is now recognised as being industry leading. The Team have recently won the 2020 Water Industry - Alliancing and Partnership award and have been shortlisted as finalists for the 2021 Utility Week Community Investor award. She also has a PhD in Catchment Management from Cranfield University.

Frank Rogalla

Director of the Department of Innovation and Technology, Aqualia

...read more about Frank

Frank Rogalla has been working for 30 years on technology transfer, managing large projects for major water companies and engineering consultancies in France, US, UK, and Brazil (Veolia, Severn Trent Services, Metcalf & Eddy, and Black & Veatch). He is the holder of many patents in advanced water and wastewater technology. Leader of around 35 people involved in R&D Programs/Projects in synergy with the regional and international activities of Aqualia, being responsible for a budget of circa 25 M€ in external funding for projects co-financed by the European Union (H2020 and Life programs), the Spanish Government and Regional Funds from various sources.

John Sammon

Low Carbon Energy Team Leader, Scottish Water Horizons

...read more about John

John Sammon leads the Low Carbon Energy Team within Scottish Water Horizons, having joined the business in 2015. The team are responsible for developing multi-disciplinary energy projects to directly support Scottish Water Group’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Since 2015 the team have delivered over 30 solar PV projects, 4 wind projects, and the UK’s first sewage heat recovery projects. John has been involved in renewables since 2010, starting out in solar before moving to the small wind industry in 2012 working on Scottish Water’s wind programme on the developer side.

Alan Sutherland

Chief Executive, Water Industry Commission for Scotland

...read more about Alan

Since his appointment in 1999 Alan has driven substantial improvements in efficiency and service for Scotland’s water and wastewater customers. He put in place a competitive non-household retail market in 2008, a world first at the time.

Unswervingly committed to a customer-centric approach, Alan is working with sector stakeholders to engender greater candour, transparency and collaboration. Alan believes in sharing experience and expertise and, through the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative, supports international capacity-building projects that facilitate the development of economic regulation and of more sustainable water industries.

Alan’s previous roles were in management consultancy and in the investment banking industry.

Jacob Tomkins

Co-founder and CTO, The Water Retail Company

...read more about Jacob

Jacob is the co-founder and CTO of The Water Retail Company. He is also the founder of The European Water Technology Accelerator which helps scale and promote water innovation. Jacob trained as a civil engineer with degrees from UCL and Imperial. He worked as an academic, was water lead for the National Farmers' Union and freshwater advisor at Water UK. He set up and ran Waterwise the water efficiency NGO. He has developed EU water legislation and chaired a UK Govt task force on resilience in the water sector. He was made and honorary Prof at Exeter University and has an OBE for services to water efficiency.

Ivan Vølund

Head of Department, Wastewater, VCS Denmark

...read more about Ivan

Ivan Vølund has 20 years experience in wastewater, first as specialist then 14 years as a manager. The role evolved over the years: he started with pump stations, extended into the sewer network, then storm water handling and, from 2015, waste water treatment plants. Ivan has delivered training in Denmark, Russia and Zambia and given presentations in Denmark, Finland, USA, China and Kenya.

Andrew Roby

Water Lead, FCDO

...read more about Andy

Andrew Roby BEM is Water Lead at the UK FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office), previously Senior Water Security Adviser at DFID (Department for International Development). He brought a government perspective on COP26 and look forward to COP27 and the UN Water Summit

Nathanial Matthews

Chief Executive Officer, Global Resilience Partnership

...read more about Nathanial

Nathanial Matthews is Chief Executive Officer at the Global Resilience Partnership, a group of over 60 organisations joining forces to surface and scale innovation, share knowledge, influence policy and advance thinking on resilience.

Nate previously worked in leadership roles with the CGIAR, UNEP, the International WaterCentre, NGOs and in the private sector. He has experience overseeing the implementation of hundreds of resilience and adaptation projects and programs in partnership with governments, NGOs and the private sector across more than 30 countries. He combines this practical experience with policy engagement from local to international scales. Nate’s expertise has been recognized through contributions to various global networks, boards and committees including as a Lead Author in The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an Obama Foundation Mentor, a Munich Re Risk Award Judge and as part of the leadership team of the Ocean, Risk and Resilience Action Alliance. He has a PhD in Geography from King’s College London and has published over 65 research articles and two books on climate change, agriculture, water management and ecosystems.

Graham Alabaster


...read more about Graham

Dr Graham Alabaster is a public health engineer by profession and is UN-Habitat’s Head of office in Geneva, where he represents the Office of the Executive Director of UN-Habitat. He is responsible for liaison with Geneva-based member states and organisations. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Civil Engineering. After an early career in academic research and post-doctoral researcher in the UK and Africa, and a period in industry, he joined UN-Habitat in 1992. Since then he has looked after many different portfolios including: Slum upgrading, environmental infrastructure; health and environment; Water, Sanitation and waste management. In addition, he has been responsible for developing relationships with the regional development banks and the private sector. During this period, he has been on secondment to both the World Health Organisation, and UNHCR, where he has applied his expertise to preventative health in urban settings and humanitarian environments. The work has usually included both policy advice to members states and project design and implementation. He was responsible for the development of the UN-system wide monitoring mechanism for SDG 6 on Water, and also the co-custodian of indicator 6.3.1 on wastewater. He is currently the co-chair of the RBM End Malaria Now, Multi-sectoral working group. In addition, he represents UN-Habitat on many inter-agency bodies and advisory groups. He has also produced a variety of publications including global reports and technical papers in journals. He has over 35 years- experience in the urban sector and has worked in over 50 countries in all regions of the world.

Emma Wilcox

Chief Executive, SocEnv; Board Member, Future Water Association

...read more about Emma

Emma began her career at the National Physical Laboratory after completing her PhD in physical metallurgy at the University of Surrey and her degree and Masters in Materials Science at Brunel University. Building on her academic background, Emma’s career has spanned knowledge transfer, training and skills across various technical disciplines. Having established the Energy and Efficiency Industrial Partnership and playing critical roles in creating two Skills Academies, Emma became the Chief Executive of the Society for the Environment, the Chartered Organisation responsible for registering environmental professionals, in 2015. Emma is a Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of IOM3 as well as a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business Programme.

As well as the Chair of the IOM3 Sustainability Development Group (SDG), Emma is a member of the UK Government’s Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel (GAAP) and a Board Member of the Future Water Association.

Emma is passionate about sustainable development, noting that ‘many of the environmental challenges we face stem from our use of materials’. She strongly believes materials professionals are vital to a sustainable future and the SDG is a body of expertise to respond to critical issues about sustainable development and the environment.

Martin Baxter

Policy and External Affairs Director and Deputy CEO, IEMA

...read more about Martin

Martin Baxter is Policy and External Affairs Director and Deputy CEO at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Martin works in the UK and internationally to support the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and sustainable economy and to reverse the decline of the natural environment.

Ian Barker

Managing Director, Water Policy International Ltd

...read more about Ian

Ian Barker is Managing Director of Water Policy International Ltd, an independent consultancy advising on water management, regulation, policy and governance. He is also Vice-President Environment and Director at the Institute of Water; a Director and Honorary Fellow of the Society for the Environment; a Director of the Water Industry Forum and a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems. Ian has over 35 years’ experience in the water sector, including overall responsibility at the Environment Agency for water planning, regulation and management, and also fisheries, biodiversity and land management, across England and Wales.

Martin Currie

Martin Currie hosted the discussion.

...read more about Martin

Dr Martin Currie is an independent potable water quality and treatment specialist with Aqueum. He founded andeye at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to improve the quality of online conferences and help decarbonise and democratise conferences post-COVID. andeye are based just south Glasgow and are providing the platform for this discussion.

Martin lived in Mauritius prior to his return to Scotland, working as an independent water consultant and photographer. Prior to that he lead Atkins’ Middle East Water business from a Dubai base. This included taking the water lead on a number of sustainable city master plans. After a year of consultancy, following his PhD in water treatment, his first long-term role was as a Process Engineer with Thames Water, culminating in the Lead Process Engineer role on their Upper Thames Major Resource Development project.


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