UKWIR CEO Steve Kaye steps down

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

Steve Kaye, CEO, UKWIR

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.

Richard Warneford, chairman, UKWIR

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.

“It has been a pleasure and privilege to work alongside Kaye and witness how he has grown UKWIR’s capacity and strategic offerings to the water sector,” Warneford said. “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.”

As CEO, Kaye has overseen several research projects, including 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.

“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,” Kaye added. “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.

“We are looking for a new CEO who can seize these opportunities and help make a difference to the future of water,” said Warnford.