Role of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

The role of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)

In today's rapidly evolving environmental landscape, the role of professional bodies like the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has never been more critical. CIWEM stands at the forefront of global efforts to improve water management, environmental conservation, and sustainability practices. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune explores the essential role CIWEM plays in guiding policy, supporting professionals, and promoting best practices in environmental management.

Key facts and statistics

Understanding the importance of CIWEM begins with recognising the global challenges it addresses. Here are some key facts and statistics:

  • Global water crisis - According to the United Nations, over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress.
  • Pollution levels - The World Health Organization reports that 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.
  • Sustainability goals - The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target clean water and sanitation (Goal 6) and climate action (Goal 13), highlighting the international commitment to environmental management.

Key definitions

  • Water management - The process of planning, developing, and managing water resources, including water distribution and treatment.
  • Environmental management - The oversight of human activities to mitigate adverse environmental impacts, promoting sustainable development.
  • Sustainability - Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The role of CIWEM

Professional support and development

CIWEM provides a platform for environmental professionals to develop their skills and knowledge through accredited training, certification, and continuous professional development (CPD). This support ensures professionals have the latest expertise and best practices in water and environmental management.

Policy influence and advocacy

CIWEM actively influences environmental policy by working with government bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and industry stakeholders. Its advocacy efforts aim to shape policies that promote sustainable water and environmental management practices.

Promoting best practices

Through publications, guidelines, and events, CIWEM disseminates best practices to its members and the broader community. These resources cover a wide range of topics, including flood management, pollution control, and climate resilience.

Research and innovation

CIWEM encourages and supports research initiatives that drive innovation in environmental management. By fostering a collaborative environment, CIWEM helps to advance scientific understanding and practical solutions to environmental challenges.

Recommended best practices for implementation

Implementing effective water and environmental management practices requires adherence to relevant legislation and regulations. CIWEM provides a framework for these best practices:

Legislation and regulations:

  • Water Framework Directive (WFD) - A key piece of EU legislation protecting water bodies across Europe.
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990 - UK legislation that sets out duties for controlling pollution and managing waste.
  • Climate Change Act 2008 - Establishes a framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

Sustainable water management:

  • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) - An approach that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources.
  • Water reuse and recycling - Implementing systems to treat and reuse wastewater for various purposes, reducing water wastage.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA):

  • Conducting thorough EIAs to understand the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects and develop mitigation strategies.

Public engagement and education:

  • Engaging with communities to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practices.

Professional support and development

CIWEM offers various levels of membership tailored to different career stages, from students to chartered professionals. Members benefit from specialist training courses, CPD opportunities, and a comprehensive knowledge base.

Policy influence and advocacy

CIWEM’s policy team works tirelessly to ensure environmental policies reflect current scientific understanding and best practices. By participating in consultations and providing expert advice, CIWEM helps shape policies that address critical environmental challenges.

Promoting best practices

CIWEM’s publications, such as the "Water and Environment Journal," provide valuable insights and case studies on effective environmental management practices. Their guidelines serve as a benchmark for industry standards.

Research and innovation

CIWEM supports research initiatives through grants and partnerships with academic institutions. These efforts help to advance innovative solutions to environmental issues, ensuring that the latest scientific knowledge is translated into practical applications.


To fully leverage the resources and support provided by CIWEM, organisations should:

  • Join CIWEM - Encourage staff to become members and utilise the available professional development opportunities.
  • Stay informed - Regularly review CIWEM’s publications and guidelines to stay updated on best practices and regulatory changes.
  • Implement CIWEM guidelines - Incorporate CIWEM’s recommended practices into your organisation’s environmental management strategies.
  • Engage in policy discussions - Participate in consultations and advocacy efforts to help shape environmental policies.


The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management plays a vital role in advancing sustainable water and environmental practices globally. By supporting professionals, influencing policy, promoting best practices, and driving innovation, CIWEM helps address some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

For organisations seeking to improve their compliance with environmental regulations and sustainability practices, ComplyPlus™ offers comprehensive legislation and regulatory compliance management software and training. Click here to learn more about how our solutions can support your environmental management efforts.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

The role of (CIWEM) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Contact us

Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to Basket




Sold Out