Water resources

Water is critical to life. It is essential for food production, health, energy supply, infrastructure, culture and economic growth. It is also vital for healthy ecosystems which provide the goods and services that are fundamental for people, wildlife and the quality of our environment.

The majority of human uses require fresh water. Water companies and authorities exist to provide access to water and sanitation and should further the sustainable management of water for people and the environment. Creating new water supplies and encouraging a reduction in demand are key to water resources management to ensure the long term resilience of water services and water and wastewater networks.

CIWEM’s work in this area includes how water resources can be managed for resilience to drought, minimising the environmental impacts of abstraction and maximising and encouraging water efficiency by all users.


Technical Panels and Groups working in relation to water resources are:

Water Resources Panel  Rivers and Coastal Group


Read our in-depth reports on the water industry:

reservoir Regulation for a Sustainable Water Industry watering plants - Copy Water Efficiency, helping customers to use less water in their homes
treatmentplant A Blueprint for carbon emissions reductions in the water industry large reservoir - Copy Integrated Water Management


Policy Position Statements are available on the following related subjects:

Planning water resources in England and Wales Managing drought in the UK
Reservoirs Global Issues New public water supply reservoirs
Water distribution network leakage in the UK Water efficiency in the home
Water footprinting Water reuse for people and the environment
Climate change and water resources in the UK Climate Change Adaptation
Bulk Water Transfers Population and consumption
The Catchment Based Approach in England Deculverting of water courses
Hydraulic fracturing of Shale in the UK Regulation of Water Resources Planning in Scotland