about us


IWRA was established in 1971 as a nongovernmental international organization aimed at encompassing all aspects in the professional field of water resources and filling interdisciplinary voids. Its first President and a driving force in its initial years was Ven Te Chow, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Illinois (USA). 


The advancement of water resources planning, development, management, science, technology, research, and education.

The establishment of an international forum for planners, administrators, managers, scientists, engineers, educators, and others who are concerned with water resources.

The encouragement, collaboration, and support of international programs in the field of water resources.

The provision of broad knowledge and information on water resources in order to create an international forum for interdisciplinary communication through its flagship journal, Water International, and other IWRA publications.


1950-60sConcept of IWRA evolved through informal discussions and contacts among scientists, engineers, administrators, and others concerned with water resources
1971IWRA Articles of Incorporation submitted in the State of Wisconsin (USA), following a discussion at the International Conference on Pumped Storage Development and its Environmental Effects in Milwaukee
1972First Executive Board with Ven Te Chow as President (until 1980)
1973First World Water Congress in Chicago
1975First issue of Water International published
1985Crystal Drop Award, for laudable contributions to the world’s water situation, first given to UNESCO during V World Water Congress in Brussels
1988Ven Te Chow Memorial Award and Lecture  first given to Vujica Yevjevich during VI World Water Congress in Ottawa
1994The Cairo Statement, proposing the World Water Council, produced at the VIII World Water Congress in Cairo
2007Executive Office moved from North America, first to Africa then to Europe
2008Taylor & Francis begin publishing Water International
2020IWRA holds its first Online Conference on Groundwater and Climate Change
2021IWRA transitions to a new membership structure


Location of Executive Office

1972Falls Church, Virginia, USA
1976Washington D.C., USA
1984University of Illinois: Urbana, Illinois, USA
1995University of New Mexico: Albuquerque, USA
1998Southern Illinois University: Carbondale, Illinois, USA
2006McGill University: Montreal, Canada
2007Water Institute of South Africa (WISA): Midrand, South Africa
2010Association VERSeau Developpement: Montpellier, France
2016Agence de l’eau Seine-Normandie: Paris, France






I1973Chicago, USAImportance and Problems of Water in the Human Environment in Modern Times24-28 Sept. 1973
II1975New Delhi, IndiaWater for Human Needs12-16 Dec. 1975
III1979Mexico City, MexicoWater for Human Survival23-27 Apr. 1979
IV1982Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWater for Human Consumption: Man and his Environment5-9 Sept. 1982
V1985Brussels, BelgiumWater Resources for Rural Areas and their Communities9-15 Jun. 1985
VI1988Ottawa, CanadaWater for World Development29 May – 3 Jun 1988
VII1991Rabat, MoroccoWater for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century13 -18 May 1991
VIII1994Cairo, EgyptSatisfying Future National and Global Water Demands13-18 May 1994
IX1997Montreal, CanadaWater Resources Outlook for the 21st Century: Conflicts and Opportunities1-6 Sept. 1997
X2000Sydney, AustraliaSharing and Caring for Water12-16 March 2000
XI2003Madrid, SpainWater Resources Management in the 21st Century5-9 Oct. 2003
XII2005New Delhi, IndiaWater for Sustainable Development, Towards Innovative Solutions22-25 Nov. 2005
XIII2008Montpellier, FranceGlobal Changes and Water Resources1-4 Sept. 2008
XIV2011Porto-de-Galinhas, BrazilAdaptive Water Management: looking to the future25-29 Sept. 2011
XV2015Edinburgh, ScotlandGlobal Water, A Resource for Development: Opportunities, Challenges & Constraints25-29 May 2015
XVI2017Cancun, MexicoBridging Science and Policy29 May – 3 Jun 2017
XVII2021Daegu, KoreaFoundations for Global Water Security and Resilience:
Knowledge, Technology and Policy
29 November – 3 December 2021
Years President
1972 – Ven Te Chow
1980 – Guillermo Cano
1983 – Jean Pierre Garbe
1986 – Peter J. Reynolds
1989 – Asit K. Biswas
1992 – Mahmoud Abu-Zeid
1995 – Glenn E. Stout
1998 – Benedito P.F. Braga
2001 – John J. Pigram
2004 – Aly M. Shady
2007 – Cecilia Tortajada
2010 – Jun Xia
2013 – Dogan Altinbilek
2016 – Patrick Lavarde
2019 – Gabriel Eckstein


Stafford Rosenbaum LLP
222 West Washington Avenue, Suite 900
Madison, Wisconsin 53701-1784
United States of America

IWRA Executive Office​

22, rue de Madrid 75008
Paris, France

Phone: +33-6-44-20-57-53

Email: office@iwra.org

Editorial: editor@iwra.org

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