WAVES is designed to study the growth of structure, mass and energy on scales of 1 kpc to 10 Mpc over a 7 Gyr timeline. On the largest length scales (1-10 Mpc) WAVES will measure the structures defined by groups, filaments and voids, and their emergence over recent times. Comparisons with bespoke numerical simulations will be used to confirm, refine or refute the Cold Dark Matter paradigm. At intermediate length scales (10 kpc-1
Mpc) WAVES will probe the size and mass distribution of galaxy groups, as well as the galaxy merger rates, in order to directly measure the assembly of dark matter halos and stellar mass. On the smallest length scales (1-10 kpc) WAVES will provide accurate distance and environmental measurements to complement high-resolution space-based imaging to study the mass and size evolution of galaxy bulges, discs and bars. In total, WAVES will provide a panchromatic legacy dataset of 1.6 million galaxies, firmly linking the very low (z < 0.1) and intermediate (z 0.8) redshift Universe.