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UKWIR Chief Steve Kaye to Step Down in November


UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) has announced that its chief executive, Steve Kaye, will be stepping down in November 2024. 

Richard Warneford, UKWIR chairman, will lead the search for Kaye’s replacement. Warneford joined the UKWIR board in 2012 and has been chair since 2019. He has worked with Kaye for five years. 

A water professional and chartered engineer, Warneford joined the sector in 1985. He has worked in operations, commercial, investment, partnerships, asset management and employee relations, with most of this time providing strategic direction and leadership. 

Warneford said, “It has been a pleasure and privilege to work alongside Steve Kaye and witness how he has grown UKWIR’s capacity and strategic offerings to the water sector. He has overseen a significant step-change, helping to strengthen and solidify UKWIR’s relationships with water companies, research institutions, academia and the wider supply chain.” 

In his time as chief executive, Kaye has overseen several significant research projects, with the potential to make lasting positive change for the sector, including world-leading studies into leakage, river health and the Chemical Investigations Programme (CIP) – the UK water industry’s response to current and emerging legislation on trace chemical substances in the water environment. 

Kaye said, “I am proud of everything we have achieved, and grateful for the support of my wonderful team, the UKWIR board and the many friends and colleagues in the water sector and beyond. UKWIR has strong ongoing support from water companies in the UK and Ireland; and is continuing to provide vital services and research outputs that benefit the industry and encourage collaboration – helping us build a better industry together.” 

Kaye has worked in the water industry since 1990 and has been chief executive of UKWIR for the past six years. He will remain in post for the next six months to ensure a smooth transition as UKWIR recruits a new CEO. Alongside semi-retirement, Kaye plans to continue being involved in the water sector in an advisory capacity. 

“This is an exciting, and challenging, time for the water sector and UKWIR has the potential to be a major player in finding solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. We are looking for a new CEO who can seize these opportunities and help make a difference to the future of water,” added Warnford. 

The process is already underway to look for Kaye’s successor. UKWIR would like to hear from interested candidates. Please contact for more information. 

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