The idea to create an International Water Resources Association origins in the 1960’s at national conferences of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) and other scientific seminars in the USA. Various members of AWRA and other related technical organisations related to water had perceived the growing need to create a multidisciplinary Water Resources Association at international level.
29 November 1971
The association is officially founded by Sandor Csallany, Gabor M. Karadi and Herbert C. Preul and legally incorporated in the State of Wisconsin (USA).
Ven Te Chow, Profesor of Hydraulic Enginnering at the University of Illinois, is invited to be nominated for president of this organisation.
April 1, 1972
Ven Te Chow is the elected President of IWRA. Business office is located in Falls Church, Virginia (USA).
23 September, 1972
First Official Executive Board meeting is held in Chicago and the Board approved its premier members: 195 individual, 2 corporate and 5 institutional members.
Formation of the US National Committee.
24-28 September 1973
The First World Water Congress was held in Chicago (USA) and the event was the major launching of the IWRA. The main theme is: “Importance and Problems of Water in the Human Environment in Modern Times”. This international scale event brings participants from over 62 countries and opened these main following conclusions:
– The need to develop a significant new international and interdisciplinary approach on water resources.
– Many common problems exist among nations and water users which can best be solved though a cooperative and coordinated approach.
Volume 1, No. 1 of Water International Journal is published (Water International was the newsletter of the asociation previously).
Ven Te Chow is the Editor-in- Chief of the Journal.
12 – 16 December 1975
The Second World Water Congress is held in December 1975 in New Delhi.
The main theme is “Water for Human Needs”. More than 1200 participants from 45 countries and Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi opened the Congress.
CBIP organised this event. 261 papers were presented.
20 November 1976
Roy E. Oltman is the Executive Secretary (= Executive Director) and Business Offices (=Executive Office) moved to Washington (USA).
The Organizing Committee of the Third World Water Congress, under the direction of Rubem La Laina Porto, decided to cancel the Congress, originally planned in São Paulo, 2-7 June 1978 (because of political reasons in Brazil).
23 April 1979
The Third World Water Congress is finally organised in Mexico City with 500 papers, 1500 participants registered from 80 countries.
The main theme is “Water for Human Survival”.
Mexican President José Lopez Portillo serves as honorary president of the event.
End of 1979
Ven Te Chow left the presidency and insisted that the next President must be a non-engineer (to open to a multidisciplinary governance of the association).
New Executive Board, Guillermo J. Cano (a famous lawyer in the water field) is the elected president of IWRA.
Elsevier Sequoia S.A. (Lausanne, Switzerland) copublishing Water International: the first issue of Water international copublished is the Volume 6 – Issue 1).
1 July 1981
Leo R. Beard is the Editor-in-Chief of Water International.
Chalmer G. Dunbar is the new Executive Director.
5 – 9 September 1982
IVth World Water Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the main theme is “Water for Human Consumption: Man and his Environment”.
New Executive Board, Jean-Pierre Garbe is the elected president of IWRA.
Glenn E. Stout is the Editor-in-Chief of Water International.
15 June 1984
Business office moved from Washington (USA) to University of Illinois in Urbana, Champaign (USA) and the Editorial Offices moved as well to University of Illinois.
Glenn E. Stout is the new Executive Director.
9 – 15 June, 1985
The Vth World Water Congress in Brussels (Belgium) and the main theme is “Water Resources for Rural Areas and their Communities”.
During this event, Crystal Drop Award began to be given, the first recipient is UNESCO.
New Executive Board, Peter J. Reynolds is the elected president of IWRA.
Beginning of 1986
W. H. C. Maxwell is the new Editor-in-Chief of Water International.
The contract with Elsevier Sequoia S.A. achieved and Water international is completely published by IWRA.
29 May – 3 June 1988
The VIth World Water Congress is organised in Ottawa (Canada). The main theme is “Water for World Development”.
More than 750 participants attended. Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecture began during this congress with contributions to the Chow Fund.
IWRA has established a Chow Memorial Lecture program to honour its founder, as well as provide for an outstanding lecture at its Congresses and other scientific conferences as funds may permit.
New Executive Board, Asit K. Biswas is the elected president of IWRA.
13 – 18 May, 1991
VIIth World Water Congress in Rabat, Morocco and the main theme is “Water for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century”.
New Executive Board, Mahmoud Abu-Zeid is the elected president of IWRA.
Since beginning of 1994
Nani G. Browmick and Misganaw Demissie are the new Editors-in-Chief of Water International.
13 – 18 May 1994
VIIth World Water Congress in Cairo, Egypt. The main theme is “Satisfying Future National and Global Water Demands”. Dr. Atef Sedki, the Prime Minister of Egypt and Dr. Abdel-Hady Rady, Minister of Public Works and Water Resources of Egypt attended the event.
During the Congress, a special session which resulted in a resolution (Cairo Statement) to create the World Water Council and a committee, led by IWRA President Abu-Zeid to accomplish the preparatory work for this task. Consensus is established around the need for the creation of a common umbrella organisation to unite the disparate, fragmented, and ineffectual efforts in global water management.
New Executive Board, Glenn E. Stout is elected president of IWRA.
IWRA offices moves from University of Illinois, Urbana (USA) to University of New Mexico (USA) and Lee Brown is the new Executive Director.
1 – 6 September 1997
IXth World Water Congress in Montreal (Canada). The main theme is “Water Resources Outlook for the 21st Century: Conflicts and Opportunities”.
Mid September 1997
Lee Brown resigned as Executive Director.
New Executive Board, Benedito P. F. Braga Jr. is the elected president of IWRA.
IWRA Business office moves from University of New Mexico (USA) to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (USA). Benedykt Dziegielewski is the new Executive Director.
Editorial Office moved from the University of Illinois in Urbana to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (USA). Slobodan Simonovic is new Science Editor and Benedykt Dziegielewski is the new Executive Editor (the position of Editor-in-Chief disappears).
12 – 16 Mars 2000
Xth World Water Congress in Sydney (Australia) and the main theme is “Sharing and Caring for Water”.
New Executive Board, John J. Pigram is the elected president of IWRA.
December 2002 – 25 October 2006
Bruce P. Hooper is the new Executive Editor and Evan Vlachos is the Science Editor of Water International.
5 – 9 October 2003
XIth World Water Congress in Madrid, Spain and the main theme is “Water Resources Management in the 21st Century”.
New Executive Board, Aly M. Shady is the elected president of IWRA.
22-25 November 2005
XIIth World Water Congress in New Delhi, India and the main theme was “Water for Sustainable Development, Towards Innovative Solutions “.
25 October 2006
Raja Sengupta is the Editor-in-Chief of Water International and Chandra Madramootoo is the Executive Director. Editorial and Executive Offices moved from Carbondale to Mc Gill University in Montreal (Canada).
New Executive Board, Cecilia Tortajada is the elected president of IWRA.
Board meeting, a Task Force is created and led by Lilian del Castillo-Laborde (Board Secretary) for the assessment and review of the Constitution and By-laws of the IWRA.
Executive Office moved from Montreal to the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA) in Midrand (South Africa). Wallace Mayne (Chief Executive of WISA) is the new Executive Director. Publication Office moved to AWARI and Tokyo (Japan) and James E. Nickum is the Editor-in-Chief of Water International.
Taylor & Francis copublishing Water International (first issue co-published in March 2008).
1-4 September 2008
XIIIth World Water Congress in Montpellier, France and the main theme was “Global Changes and Water Resources”. 1190 participants, from 85 countries attended this congress. The proposal of the document prepared by the Task Force for the assessment and review of the Constitution and By-laws of the IWRA is approved by members.
28 November 2008
Wallace Mayne renounced as Chief Executive of WISA and as IWRA Executive Director. Junior Potloane, new Chief Executive of WISA assumes the leadership of the IWRA Executive Office.
New Executive Board, Jun Xia is the elected president of IWRA.
Executive Office moved from Midrand to the Association VERSeau Développement in Montpellier (France). Tom Soo is the new Executive Director.
25-29 September 2011
XIVth World Water Congress in Porto-de-Galinhas, Brazil and the main theme is “Adaptive Water Management: looking to the future”.
New Executive Board, Dogan Altinbilek is the elected president of IWRA.
XVth IWRA World Water Congress to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 25 to 29 May 2015.
New Executive Board, Patrick Lavarde is the elected president of IWRA.