On behalf of the World Plumbing Council (WPC) Executive Board, I am pleased to report on our activity since our Singapore General Meeting on May 31, 2014.
The Singapore meeting provided an excellent opportunity for our members to interact with members of the Singapore Plumbing Society who attended the meeting, along with representatives of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) in Singapore. PUB representatives provided WPC delegates with an extensive tour of the Singapore NEWater facility explaining the processes and the three levels of treatment the used water went through before being distributed through their network as NEWater. Thanks to the Singapore Plumbing Society and PUB for their involvement in our meeting and hospitality during our visit.
I also had the pleasure of representing WPC at the Water Leaders Summit held as a key part of the Singapore International Water Week. Attendance was by invitation only. The Summit brings governments, world organizations and industry players together with the common goal of addressing global challenges through policymaking and leadership. The central theme of these discussions was Water for All: Solutions for a Better Future, with many speakers addressing issues such as the rate of urbanisation, population growth and economic growth leading to a significant increase in water demand and widening the gap between supply and demand. Based on current trends, the number of people living in areas of severe water stress is expected to grow to over 3.9 billion or about half of the world’s population. While these presentations by government officials and global experts where educational and interesting, it was disappointing that plumbing wasn’t part of the discussion in addressing these global challenges.
However, plumbing was very much to the front in the inaugural Water Innovation Challenge held at the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore. While this has been reported on in the WPC Review, I wish to congratulate the teams from Australia and the USA for participating and providing an excellent demonstration of how basic plumbing skills can address the water and sanitation needs of those countries that lack adequate infrastructure and support for these key aspects of healthy human life. Indeed the Water Innovation Challenge was judged a success with WPC and the Worldskills Foundation now discussing and commencing planning of the next Challenge to be called the Water & Sanitation Challenge to be held in conjunction with the Indian Plumbing Association conference scheduled for 10-11 September 2015 and then to be followed up by a further challenge in South Africa in association with the World Plumbing Conference in Capetown.
The Water & Sanitation Challenge provides a tremendous opportunity for the plumbing industry to demonstrate to the World Health Organisation and the United Nations the significant contribution it can make to global health, given the discussions and focus on new goals following on from the Millenium Development Goals due to mature in 2015. While the new targets are still in the development stage they will include:
- Target 1: By 2025 no one practices open defecation.
- Target 2: By 2030 everyone has a basic drinking-water supply and hand washing facilities when at home. All schools and health centres provide basic drinking-water (improved sources on the premises), adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities (hand washing & menstrual hygiene)
- Target 3: By 2040, everyone uses adequate sanitation facilities at home, the proportion of the population not using an intermediate drinking water supply (improved, on premises, water quality and functional) at home reduced by half, the excreta from at least half of schools, health centres and households with adequate sanitation are safely managed.
- Target 4: All drinking-water supply, sanitation and hygiene services are delivered in progressively affordable, accountable, and financially and environmentally sustainable manner
Let me now refer to other activities.
The World Plumbing Council Handbook has been very well received by all who has seen it. It is available on the WPC website, if you haven’t seen it. The EB had 1,000 hard copies printed, some of which were distributed at the Singapore General Meeting and copies were mailed to all past Chairman and board members in recognition of their contribution to the WPC. We have been extremely pleased with the feedback we have had on the publication from these distinguished senior members of our organisation. It is an excellent publication that records the history of WPC and the contribution of those involved. I must again recognize the efforts of Deputy Chairman Shayne La Combre and his team from PICAC who did a tremendous job in creating this document.
WPC Research Database
The WPC Research Database website is up and running and is intended to be utilized by academic researchers, students, manufacturers, associations, Standards Developing Organizations, governmental entities or any individual interested in plumbing or water related research programs.
The idea to develop a research database was to create a free and open source software platform database that allows researchers interested in plumbing and water related issues to share and help publicize their work, and to see what others are doing, improve collaboration amongst researchers and, reduce redundant efforts. The site also has a separate database for users to recommend new areas of research needed to close a knowledge gap or support standardization efforts.
To date the following have been uploaded onto the site:
- The PERC research
- ASFlow, a research project conducted in Australia on drainline flow.
- Research by Dr. Michael Gormley of Heriot Watt University has also uploaded one of his recent research projects.
If you would like to make a contribution go to
WPC and WPD Website Upgrades
Significant changes have occurred in recent months to the WPC and WPD websites, and I thank Mary George (UPM Advertising, India) for taking on the challenge and turning both websites into more interactive and dynamic tools to promote WPC and what we do. I invite all members to look at it, review the information on it and provide comments and feedbacks as to how it can be improved. The image we create of WPC on the website has become increasingly important as a marketing tool and it needs to be fresh and presentable and easy to navigate. When you log onto the site youâ€™ll be invited to join WPC on Facebook, please accept the invitation as we would like to build our following.
WPC Promotional Video
The development of a WPC video is well underway with Mike Massey and Mary George having had numerous phone hook ups to discuss the presentation, preparing a production script for consideration at the September Executive Board Meeting. I’m also very pleased to recognize the generosity of Mike Massey’s organization in sponsoring the production to the tune of US$10,000. WPC greatly appreciates this support., thank you.
The EB’s expectation is that the video will capture the essence of the vision below:
- Plumbing Industry awareness, public health, environmental sustainability, skills development, innovative training, industry standards, poor access to water and sanitation in least developed and developing countries etc are all key factors driving the World Plumbing Council vision. Clean water is not a luxury, safe clear drinking water and sanitation is possible in any nation, big or small, when sound plumbing practices are adopted.
WPC Regional Forums/Chapters
Following discussion on this matter at the Singapore EB meeting and the positive response from member organizations to the WPC Survey on regional meetings, it was agreed that they would support the WPC objectives and the work of the executive board. The key purpose of such meetings would be to:
- Help promote the work, activities and mission of the WPC and achieve strategic objectives
- Encourage membership growth, participation and sponsorship
- List and record ideas for collaboration
- Provide a networking forum for dialogue amongst industry stakeholders
Jim Kendzel, WPC Director USA agreed to arrange a pilot meeting embracing North America (scheduled to be held in Chicago towards the end of September). The EB agreed that regional meetings should be convened/coordinated by an EB Member or his organization to ensure appropriate structure and feedback to WPC.
2014 WPC Scholarship Program
As previously reported the program was launched in May, with members being advised and global plumbing media agencies promoting the opportunity. 2014 is the first year of two scholarships:
2014 WPC Education and Training Scholarship
2014 WPC Scholarship for least Developed and Developing Countries, exclusively supported by the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA).
Responses to date have been very positive but given that the new scholarship was introduced this year, it was decided to extend the closing date for applications to the 31st August to allow possible applicants more time to consider the opportunity. At the time of writing we have received a number of applications from places such as Mongolia, Belarus, Zambia and South Africa. In fact, for the first time we have an application from a young lady from South Africa. There are also applications from New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.
Shayne La Combre as Chair of the Education and Training Committee is looking forward to getting the assessment panel to review all the applications and announce the successful applicants by the end of September.
Next General Meeting
The next WPC General Meeting will be held in association with Messe Frankfurt’s ISH Fair, Frankfurt March 14, 2015, we look forward to a good turn out from our members. Accommodation in Frankfurt at this time is always challenging and we suggest you go ahead and make your reservations now. The General Meeting will be held at the ISH Fair as in previous years.
I would very much like to recognize the increasing support coming from Industry Organisations, which greatly assists WPC’s efforts in meeting its key objectives and mission. These include:
- CERA – supported the WPC Triennial meeting in Delhi and Chairman’s video message for WPD 2014. Much appreciated
- Lubrizol – printing and publication of Environmental Aspects of Plumbing in November and WPC General meeting in Singapore.
- CRI Pumps – prize money at 2014 WPD International Poster Competition.
- Geberit – supporting the WPC General Meeting in Lostorf/Zurich.
- Gentner Verlag – Printing and distribution of WPC Handbook.
WPC greatly appreciates and values this support from these plumbing industry organizations in assisting us to meet our key objectives.