Irstea is a public agricultural and environmental research institute located in Bordeaux that focuses on sustainable development. It contributes to the conservation and acceptable management of land and water systems, the growth of economic activity on a sustainable basis, and the prevention of associated risks. Its four leading areas of interest are hydraulic system functioning, water and waste disposal engineering and management, agricultural and food engineering, and management of predominantly rural areas. Irstea works with many European partners through its networks and its participation in projects of FP programmes, Interreg, Life, etc. Current involvement in European projects comprises 24 FP projects, 15 Interreg projects, 4 Life and Life + projects and 4 Bilateral projects in the Hubert Curien Programme. The “Networks, water treatment and water quality Research Unit” at Irstea’s Bordeaux centre, develops methods and computer tools devoted to reliability, operation and optimization of water distribution networks, irrigation networks and sewerage networks. Research projects are undertaken in close cooperation with both institutional partners (the State, local authorities) and industrialists (water services and companies). The outputs from the research are software and methods, concerning water quantity and water quality modelling, security and technical diagnosis of water networks.