Validation Framework

A consistent approach requires a robust framework. WaterVal benefits are delivered through an integrated management framework, including scheme proponents, independent assessors/consultants, the WaterVal Administrator and state regulators.

The Validation Framework provides the overarching structure for regulators, scheme proponents, consultants and technology suppliers to collaborate and streamline the validation of treatment processes. The Framework shows the relationship between the key water industry sectors and their role in validation and is facilitated by WaterRA.


WaterVal is not a new, additional layer of regulation or guidelines. States and territories are responsible for scheme approval and assessment of acceptable validation requirements. The Validation Framework simply provides a process by which the industry sectors can collaborate to develop and agree on consistent approaches to and requirements for validation of treatment technologies. States and territories can then implement the approaches and requirements through their own legislation and regulations.

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling are based on the principle of preventive risk management. Health and environmental risk-based targets are used to calculate the “performance targets” for treatment schemes which define the minimum performance that must be achieved by the treatment process and preventive measures. The guidelines require treatment processes to be validated. The guidelines describe the concept of and need for validation and refer to published validation guidelines such as WaterVal and USEPA.

Scheme Proponents

Scheme proponents, typically water utilities, are responsible for designing and operating treatment processes. WaterVal provides nationally agreed guidance and protocols to support scheme proponents and give them confidence that they are using industry best practice in their design and operation.

WaterVal Partners

WaterVal Partners (WVP) are the funding and in-kind supporters of WaterVal in collaboration with WaterRA. This includes utilities, regulators, industry service providers/consultants/associations, technology providers and researchers. Crucial to the success of WaterVal is its acceptance by regulators. To achieve this, national, state and territory agencies (regulators and policy makers) are included in the WVP and its advisory committees.

WaterVal Administrator

The WaterVal Administrator (WVA) is the decision-making Committee of WaterVal. The Committee is selected by the WaterVal Partners and is Chaired by WaterRA. Serving as the central coordination hub, the WVA is tasked with executing the Framework and WaterVal research plans and leads the development of relevant guidance and protocols. The WVA combines technical expertise with administrative capabilities, and utilises input from specialists and researchers, to advance WaterVal.

Technical Advisory Group

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG), appointed by the WVA, ensures a diverse representation of research, technical specialist, regulator, and utility roles, to serve as a vital advisory body. Its primary role is to provide guidance to the WVA in prioritising tasks and initiatives, leveraging its collective expertise to support the effective implementation of WaterVal projects and objectives.

Independent Assessors and Consultants

Consultants are often used by scheme proponents to undertake the design of treatment processes. Consultants are also able to use WaterVal for nationally agreed guidance and protocols. In addition, WaterVal can be used by assessors for auditing treatment processes.

Current Research

Validation Framework

WaterVal benefits are delivered through an integrated management framework, including WaterVal Partners, scheme proponents, Independent Assessors and Consultants, the WaterVal Administrator and State Regulators.

Current Protocols

There are currently five Validation Protocols which have been developed through WaterVal. The Validation Protocols are grounded in the latest research findings and industry best practice and are freely available to water industry professionals around the world.

Treatment Processes

Validation guidance and protocols are grounded in the latest research findings and industry best practice to meet the requirements for validation and demonstrate contaminant reduction for individual treatment processes.

Protocol Elements

Based on national and international best practice, and backed by rigorous scientific research, each Validation Protocol has been designed based on nine Protocol Elements, ensuring consistency and uniformity for all users.

WaterVal Resources

WaterVal resources are extensive and encompass both historic and current documentation, including research findings. All resources are freely available to water industry professionals around the world.

More Information

Dr Marty Hancock | Research Manager |