Our planet is rapidly running out of clean fresh water as the consequences of natural and human factors in the context of the unequal level of economic development, technological capacity and excessive water pollution. Membrane-based water treatment processes have emerged as engineering solutions to provide immediate solutions to this growing crisis. Over years, membrane technology has been widely accepted as a means of producing high quality treated water from various sources including surface water, well water, brackish water and seawater. Membrane technology has also been used in industrial wastewater treatment for recycling and reclamation purposes. In the last decade, a steep rise in the level of nanotechnology research efforts has been observed worldwide. Science-based technology, particularly nanotechnology, has offered a great extent in material improvements. The integration of nanomaterials in membrane-based water treatment processes in terms of materials and systems enhancement has been acknowledged as the unprecedented key to overwhelm the barriers and limitations that are facing current membrane technology. The innovative research progresses prompt a wide range of engineered nanomaterials to hold vast potential in advancing membrane-based separation to improve the overall efficiency as well as to reduce environmental footprint. This presentation provides the insights into the advances driven by membrane technology to resolve the global water issues. Emphasis is placed on the fabrication of nano-enabled membranes where the membrane structures can be carefully tailored and controlled through the incorporation of engineered nanomaterials. The innovations and challenges faced in the lab scale and commercial scale development of membrane technology for desalination and wastewater treatment will be presented.