KWR Water Research Institute


KWR generates knowledge to enable the water sector to operate water-wisely in our urbanised society. At KWR, we have a sense of professional and social responsibility for the quality of water. Our scientific findings and the resulting practical innovations contribute, worldwide, to a sustainable water provision in the urban watercycle.

‘Bridging science to practice’ is KWR’s motto. Our researchers work at the interface of science, business and society. Their strength lies in their translation of scientific knowledge into applicable, practical solutions for end-users in the Dutch and international water sector. We have built a solid reputation as top-level innovation accelerators and international network builders, and increasingly play a coordinating role in national and international collaborations.

Water is the basis of life. It is essential for nature, people, food production and economic development. The availability of sufficient clean water has become a societal issue all over the world. In our water-wise world research programme we work on an optimal organisation and management of the watercycle, with a circular economy as a key driver.

KWR stems from Kiwa, a certification institute for water pipe articles, established in 1948. Initially, the drinking water research was carried out in Rijswijk. In 1973, premises were purchased in Nieuwegein, close to the Lek canal, where the ‘detective’ work started: research into the acute and chronic toxicity of surface water. This formed the basis for the present KWR. In 2006, KWR became an independent entity, with the Dutch water companies as its shareholders. On 18 September 2015, the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Schultz Van Haegen, inaugurated today’s KWR building, ushering in a new age of greater collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation. In 2016 we got our first foreign shareholder, the Belgian De Watergroep.