The Water Hub is a North East partnership addressing societal challenges in the water and environment sector. We work with small and medium sized businesses to develop the solutions.

The Water Hub drives innovation and practical application in water and the environment to improve the way we use and manage water resources. We use our expertise and networks to shape opportunities, grow ideas, test products and deliver solutions to simultaneously grow business opportunities and deliver sustainable solutions to societal challenges. The initiative builds on partnerships between Durham University, Durham County Council, Northumbria Water Limited and the Environment Agency.

Professor Louise Bracken, Scientific Director of The Water Hub, and Executive Director of IHRR, said: “The Water Hub is all about harnessing the talent and technology of the business community to solve real challenges that affect us all, in areas such as water efficiency, water cleaning and flooding.

“We are really excited to lead this ambitious initiative and look forward to sharing lots of valuable opportunities with businesses and partners to improve the way we mange water and the environment.”


Find out more about The Water Hub.

What We Offer

These offer businesses the chance to work on specific problems to find innovative solutions to applications in the water and environment sectors. Solutions are tested and developed using live facilities and feedback from partners. Events include ideation, hackathons, and opening up tenders from partners to enable access to their supply chains.

The Water Hub provides valuable support to businesses to help develop ideas further, open up new supply chains and connecting SMEs with research innovation services across the North East of England.

To help support the development of novel ideas The Water Hub has a number of small grants between £1000 and £5000, but these need to be fully matched by the SME.

The Water Hub will develop new working relationships between businesses, practice and research to bringing people together to form new, exciting collaborations that will drive ideas, testing and product development.

The Water Hub provides access to a range of test facilities to facilitate product development and assist with market feasibility testing. These facilities including residential homes, laboratories and infrastructure to help test and develop innovative ideas.

Want to find out about what we’re doing currently? Have a read through our news.

Live Challenges

We are working with partners to identify challenges. Each challenge will offer an opportunity for businesses to engage with partners. Challenges will frame the problem, question current practice, and showcase pathways for businesses to get involved.


Community scale blue green infrastructure

Download the challenge



Reducing the impacts of flooding by harnessing new technologies

Download the challenge



We are delighted to announce our up and coming Water Dragons Heat at Durham University, October 2018.
Future Water Association’s ‘Water Dragons’ provides a platform for organisations to showcase their products, services or processes with a view to providing innovative solutions to the challenges faced in the water industry.  The pitches are judged by a panel consisting of water sector specialists.
The Water Hub welcomes your ‘Behaviourial Innovation’ and/or ‘Water (and energy) Efficiency ideas to compete in this year’s heat.  For more information, please read our Water Dragon’s information pack and if you feel like joining in this challenge please email us for an information pack and application form to
In order to prepare you for this event we would encourage you to attend our Networking Event on Wednesday 6 June 2018, which will feature a panel discussion from Carmen Snowdon, Head of Water Efficiency at Waterwise, and Fab Little Bag – 2017 Water Dragons winner.  If you are interested in attending this event, please contact us at
Please note the deadline for our Water Dragon’s heat is 31 August 2018.


Stay Informed

Sign up to our interest list to stay informed about new challenges, updates, developments and opportunities – or send us an email.