The Water Informatics in Science and Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (WISE CDT) offers a postgraduate programme that fosters enhanced levels of innovation and collaboration by training a cohort of engineers and scientists at the boundary of water informatics, science and engineering. The WISE CDT was established in 2014 with funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) amongst the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. The WISE CDT will ultimately graduate over 80 PhD candidates trained in a non-traditional 4-year UK doctoral programme that integrates teaching and research elements in close collaboration with a range of industrial partners. WISE focuses on cohort-based education and equips the PhD candidates with a wide range of skills developed through workshops and other activities to maximise candidate abilities and experiences. We discuss the need for, the structure and results of the WISE CDT, which has been ongoing from 2013-2022 (final year of graduation). We conclude with lessons learned and an outlook for PhD training, based on our experience with this programme.