The future of water is celebrated at the Future Water Association Innovation Awards Lunch

12 April 2019

On 11th April 2019, Future Water Association, the UK’s leading dynamic business support organisation driving innovation in the Water Sector, held its annual innovation awards lunch at the Warwickshire Golf & Country Club. Awards were presented across three themes; People, Water Dragons Innovation, Emerging Talent, plus a special Chairman’s award recognising contribution to the sector.

The lunch brought together people from across the water sector including, utilities, contractors, SME’s, innovators and government bodies, to celebrate innovation, creative thinking, and those who have made a difference in the industry. The event was sponsored and supported by five key water sector organisations and Association members: WRc, ARUP, Anglian Water, ACO and Hydrosave.

Guest speaker, Dr Mark Fletcher, Global Water Lead at Arup, provided the guests with a humorous and unique take on what the sector needs to do next. Mark set out the challenges that we are faced with now due to climate change and discussed how his own experiences across the globe has influenced his view. Mark also discussed some key figures in the history of British engineering in the field of water & sanitation, and the regard many other countries have for people like William Lindley. The challenge Mark set out and his call to action was that we all come together, work creatively to help shape the future of the water sector, whilst encouraging the next generation, and the best minds, to join us.

Paul Horton, CEO of Future Water Association, explains the importance of the awards. “People and innovation are the driving force behind today’s water industry and these awards have been established to celebrate the water sector; the successes, the achievements, the technology and the people that all help deliver a valuable resource we sometimes take for granted. Our Water Dragons Awards recognise the ideas and innovations within the sector and provides a platform for businesses to present new products to key decision makers, opening wider markets and opportunities. It was important that we also highlighted the water zone at the Big Bang Fair, and the need to inspire the next generation to ‘think water’.

Mark Smith, Chairman of the Association and CEO at WRc set out the importance of what Future Water Association is doing, how the vision and mission have provided focus to the work of the organisation. He explained that all our members are engaging more across the sector, talking to government, regulators, utilities and helping to drive the industry forward. Mark also set out the need to recognise new thinking and new ideas,  essential in helping to shape the sector’s agenda.


Award Winners:

  • Water Dragons Winner – Pontoonworks
  • Water Dragons Highly Commended – Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Water Dragons Highly Commended – Wheatley
  • Water Dragon Audience Winner – Raindrop Harvest
  • People Award Winner – Anglian Water Big Bang Team
  • People Award Special Recognition – Simon Gordon-Walker, Artesia Consulting
  • Emerging Talent Award Winner – Sarah Cotterill, The Water Hub
  • Chairman’s Award Winner – Martyn Hopkinson, Future Water Association

Please click on the logos below for individual award winner photos:


The Awards lunch was also an occasion to support two great charitable organisations fundamentally connected with water, WaterAid and Toilet Twinning. Instead of providing table gifts, Future Water Association ‘twinned’ two school toilet blocks in Zambia, in association with In addition, lunch guests donated a total of £625 for Water Aid during a Champagne prize draw.


For more detailed information about each entry please explore the Future Water Association Awards Brochure.





Notes to Editors:

Future Water Association is a modern, innovative and dynamic membership organisation that inspires supports and leads the water supply chain, water companies and water retailers. Its goal is to provide business support to a sector facing many challenges.

Water Dragons – Sponsored by Hydrosave and has been running since 2008. The format is based on the famous TV series and businesses pitch their products to a panel of judges and an audience firstly in regional heats and then a grand final.

Emerging Talent Award – Sponsored by Arup, recognises young people who are within their first five years in the sector and who have brought something new and different to their organisation.

The People Award – Sponsored by ACO, recognises individuals or teams who that have ‘gone that extra mile’ outside of the normal requirements of their work.

For more information please visit or for specific questions about this release, please email CEO Paul Horton at or call 01926 513771