Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2014

International Impact

collecting water in containers

WEDC International Conference

Loughborough academics and support staff
The Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)
External partners
WEDC works with a range of external partners including: international agencies, NGO’s Governments and Universities including: UNICEF; Plan International; Practical Action; WaterAid and has co-hosted the conference most recently with Egerton University, in Kenya (2013)

WEDC – established in 1971 – is one of the world's leading education and research institutes for developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation for low- and middle-income countries.

In 2013, the Centre celebrated the ruby anniversary of the annual WEDC International Conference – inaugurated in 1973 – which is now renowned as a unique platform for sector learning and knowledge transfer.

Originally convened in Loughborough, the Conference has since been co-hosted in 19 developing countries across Africa and Asia, facilitating much wider international experience sharing.

It has a strong practitioner focus – field-based experience is shared alongside academic findings, stimulating lively debate which is both pragmatic and solution driven.  

What’s more, over 75 per cent of Conference attendees are nationals of low- and middle-income countries. This means that learning is shared between people who work in similar environments and face similar challenges – their experiences and knowledge has more relevance and transference than more theoretical research conducted a world away.

Therefore, the Conference has direct global impacts on millions of people’s quality of life through improved delivery of safe drinking water and sanitation services.


  • In its 40 years, the Conference has been attended by more than 10,000 participants from over 80 countries
  • More than 2,500 papers have been presented and discussed – all are freely available from WEDC’s open access database which facilitates over 200 downloads per month
  • The knowledge transfer facilitated by the Conference has direct impacts on the lives of millions of people through improved delivery of basic services.

Frame from video Play video Sharing appropriate technology at the WEDC Conference


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