SANITAS was created to meet the deficiencies in human resources in European Urban Water System (UWS) management, the need for applications of technology and for sustainability through development of an integrated technology, knowledge and action base. The partners of this ITN are acutely aware of the risks associated if these needs are not met, and the urgency with which action must be taken in a comprehensive manner through this ITN. SANITAS is an extremely timely intervention in addressing the critical lack of trained professionals at a time when they are most needed, and when multi–disciplinary skills are emerging as a key training requirement. A next generation of integrated UWS management professionals will be created by providing a Europe–wide training in the technical and complementary skills they will require. The emphasis is on innovation, not just in the technical training provided that will significantly expand knowledge beyond the state–of–the–art, but in the training methodologies, the applications, the implementation strategy and the advisory oversight of the Consortium. Innovation at all levels is essential for Europe to embrace the responsibilities and opportunities for global leadership in this sector.