Thought Leadership Clubs (TLCs)

Developing a road map for water research.

Launched in March 2015, this is a multi-disciplinary consortium working with innovators from a variety of industries and perspectives to find novel solutions for water challenges.

The workshops are facilitated by Dr Kamal Birdi, through his CLEAR IDEAS framework, and Dr Vanessa Speight.

The outcome from these workshops will be an action plan for project bids to be pursued this year including definition of roles, suggestions of additional collaborators to invite, and work outlines. This innovative, strategic research in key areas will be pursued jointly via a number of different funding mechanisms by the Thought Leadership Club members.

Upcoming events:


The next Thought Leadership Club date is TBC.

For more information & enquiries please contact Caroline Wadsworth (

The Thought Leadership Clubs are separated into three areas:

Thought Leadership Club

Buried Infrastructure Performance:

Though the evidence demonstrating impending asset collapse does not always exist, water utilities need to be assured that their assets are going to perform adequately into the future. This will require a combination of asset condition assessment techniques, management and monitoring of system performance, analysis of asset data, identification and management of risks. To harness the commonalities across different types of infrastructure, this TLC will cover water and sewerage/drainage assets, with a focus on linear assets (piping systems).

This TLC is expected to include participants with knowledge about sensors, data, network simulations, and risk among others.

Zero Failures:

Thought Leadership Club

Water utilities need to deliver reliably so that their customers and other stakeholders are not inconvenienced. This means both improving water infrastructure to increase its performance as well as understanding customer perceptions and engaging with them regarding the performance limits of the systems. There is also the potential to explore whether and how service levels could vary from those currently delivered. This TLC will cover water and sewerage/drainage assets, with a focus on water quality failures, environmental compliance, and flooding.

This TLC is expected to include participants with knowledge about system performance, alternative methods for compliance, policy, and customer partnerships.

Thought Leadership Club

Resource Recovery and Efficiency:

Water utilities need to sustainably manage water and to support customers in reducing their water (and consequently energy) use in the home. There are many opportunities within the water cycle to reduce energy input, derive energy from sustainable sources, and recover energy. In addition, many waste products derived from treatment processes have beneficial uses that could further reduce the overall footprint of the modern water utility.

This TLC will cover water and sewerage/drainage assets and is expected to include participants with knowledge about energy management strategies for infrastructure, waste management, treatment process optimisation and alternative energy sources.