Skip to main content Skip to main nav

English - Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA

STOWA (Acronym for Foundation for Applied Water Research) is the centre of expertise of the regional water managers (the Dutch Water Authorities). Its mission is to develop, collect, distribute and implement applied knowledge, essential for an effective and efficient water management. Topics of expertise range from applied technical, scientific to administrative-legal, health and social science.

Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA

STOWA is a highly demand-driven operation. We carefully take stock of the knowledge requirements of the Water Authorities and ensure that these are placed with the correct knowledge providers. The initiative for this mainly lies with the users of this knowledge, the water managers, but sometimes also with knowledge institutes and business and industry. This two-way flow of knowledge promotes modernisation and innovation.

Demand-driven operation also means that we are constantly looking for the ‘knowledge requirements of tomorrow’ – requirements that we dearly want to put on the agenda before they become an issue – in order to ensure that we are optimally prepared for the future.  

We ease the burden of the water managers by assuming the tasks of placing the invitation to tender and supervising the joint knowledge projects. STOWA ensures that water managers remain linked to these projects and also retain ‘ownership' of them. In this way, we make sure that the correct knowledge requirements are met. The projects are supervised by committees, which also comprise regional water managers. The broad research lines are spread out per field of practice and accounted for by special programme committees. The water managers also have representatives on these committees.

STOWA is not only a link between the users of knowledge and knowledge providers, but also between the regional water managers. The collaboration of the water managers within STOWA ensures they are jointly responsible for the programming, that they set the course, that several Water Authorities are involved with one and the same project and that the results quickly benefit all Water Boards.

Mission Statement

STOWA’s fundamental principles are set out in our mission: Defining the knowledge needs in the field of water management and developing, collecting, making available, sharing, strengthening and implementing the required knowledge or arranging for this together with regional water managers.

Research programs

The STOWA works according to the research programs, which will be updated every year. The project coordinators prepare a list of candidate projects, which will be presented to a commission of programming. The commission will deliberate upon the continuation of a candidate project, in the light of the strategy of the STOWA and the financial restraints. The commission holds representatives from the members of the STOWA foundation. If you have an idea for a STOWA project, please write a project proposal and send it to STOWA. Use our special application form.


Products of the STOWA include publications (reports, newsletters), computer programs (models) and databases (e.g. a list of ongoing research programmes by water managers and a literature databank of publications released by the water administrations). All STOWA products are free for STOWA members. There are too many products to list them here, please visit the Dutch part of our website if you want more information (in Dutch).


The finances required to carry out research programs and to run the STOWA secretariat are obtained from the member water administrations. The annual budget has grown over the passed years and is now estimated at approximately 7 million Euro.

STOWA is a foundation and is therefore by definition a non-profit organization.


P.O. Box 2180
3800 CD Amersfoort
The Netherlands

Phone: + 31 33 460 32 00
Fax: + 31 33 460 32 01

Our general e-mail address is: