The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is a not- for-profit organization established in 1989 to advance the science and technology of a broad spectrum of environmental and human health concerns to the wastewater industry and the public. It is a unique public/private partnership between utilities, academia, government, and industry, committed to funding research by leveraging resources and expertise to develop and disseminate sound scientific and technological information. Funded by subscribers, grants and contributions, WERF manages a broad array of research projects aimed at protecting human health and the environment. While WERF funds and manages projects, the actual research is carried out by individual organizations or teams composed of utilities, consultants, universities, and industrial or commercial firms. Examples of WERF's current research program include the investigation of on- line monitoring techniques for microbial and chemical contaminants in water and wastewater, optimization of processes for pathogen removal and inactivation, improved treatment of toxic compounds, and assessing the potential risks to public health from exposure to these microbial and chemical contaminants. This paper will provide an overview of the program, research funded to date, and technology needs for the future.