Shareholders and shareholdings

KWR stems from Kiwa N.V., a certification institute for water pipe articles which was established in 1948. Initially, the drinking water research was carried out in Rijswijk. In 1973, the current site was purchased in Nieuwegein, close to the Lek canal, where the ‘detective’ work started: research into the acute and chronic toxicity of surface water.

This formed the basis for the present KWR, a 100%-owned subsidiary of KWH. In 2006, KWH and KWR became independent entities dedicated to applied research and with the Dutch water companies as their shareholders. On 18 September 2015, the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Schultz Van Haegen, inaugurated today’s KWR building, ushering in a new age of greater collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation.



1950s >150 Drinking water companies and umbrella organisations
1985 84 Continuous merger process in drinking water sector
2006 10 The remaining ten Dutch drinking water companies
2013 11 Accession of WRK
2016 12 Accession of De Watergroep

KWR and Allied Waters have formally been sister companies since 19 December 2022. Together, we create valuable ways to transform science into market propositions.


At the time the legal precursor of KWH was established, the Netherlands had around two hundred drinking water companies. Following numerous mergers, by 2006 this number had been cut to ten. In 2013, N.V. WRK, a water transport company owned by Waternet and PWN, also became a shareholder. In 2016, we welcomed our first foreign shareholder: De Watergroep from Belgium.

KWR is owned by the shareholders organization KWH Water B.V. The map shows our shareholders with their supply area.

KWR is owned by the shareholders organization KWH Water B.V. The map shows our shareholders with their supply area.

By statute, KWH does not issue dividends to its shareholders. The financial result of KWH is reinvested in the enterprise and is used in part to fund future activities.

A KWH shareholder accession candidate needs to fit the following profile:

  • pursuit of a public mission;
  • endorsement of KWH’s principles;
  • participation in the activities of one or more KWH subsidiaries.


The following principles apply to KWH’s shareholdings:

  • the company’s activities are directed at water-related research, innovation and consulting;
  • the shareholding supports KWH’s network and activities, nationally and/or internationally.