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December 2017



In the seven months since the prior General Meeting, the Executive Board has focused on improving the performance of the World Plumbing Council (WPC) and addressing fundamental questions about the Council's mission and its focus on outcomes. 

I am pleased to report we have taken important steps in identifying and pursuing worthwhile contributions to the global plumbing industry and the broader community, including:

  • the WPC's new drive to gain more effective operating frameworks for plumbing industries – the Four Pillars of Plumbing initiative
  • an upgrade in the WPC's longstanding commitment to developing a better community awareness of the beneficial impacts of the plumbing industry – i.e. an enhancement of the Council's support for World Plumbing Day celebrations globally
  • a stronger and better designed WPC scholarships program commencing in 2018 along with plans for larger scale contributions to plumber training and education
  • ongoing progress in WPC adding value as a communications hub for the plumbing industry at a global level
  • giving financial and in-kind support to plumbing-related community development projects – in particular the Community Plumbing Challenge program managed by the International Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Foundation
  • working to improve the Council's support for plumbing industry research and innovation
  • developing plans aimed at the WPC becoming the global level body recognising outstanding contributions in the world of plumbing.

A further pleasing and very recent development is the 26 November appointment of Mr BSA Narayan to the WPC Executive Board, representing the Indian Plumbing Association - see the newsletter article below.



On 18 October 2017 the Executive Board held a meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  The meeting was very productive, with important decisions being made in relation to the operations of the World Plumbing Council in key portfolios and programs. 

The Chair and other Directors reported on activities and initiatives - both underway and in the planning phase - relating to Four Pillars of Plumbing, World Plumbing Day, WPC scholarships for plumbing trainers, communications, Community Plumbing Challenge, membership administration, alliances with related organizations and more.  Subsequent newsletter articles covering the General Meeting and specific WPC portfolios give details about current operations and planning for the World Plumbing Council.

Several days prior to the Executive Board meeting Mr John Joseph resigned as a WPC Director, as he is no longer a member of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Plumbing Association.  At both the Executive Board meeting and at the General Meeting, the Chair expressed thanks to John Joseph for his valuable contribution the Executive Board, the World Plumbing Council and the plumbing industry more broadly.



The World Plumbing Council held a General Meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in the morning of 19 October 2017. The Chair and Directors reported on WPC activities over the seven months since the prior General Meeting and canvassed present and future challenges and priorities for the Council.

Most of the agenda for the meeting was addressed through reports from the Chair and other Executive Board members for their individual portfolios of responsibility. The reports and other discussion in the meeting are summarised below, and several portfolios are discussed in more detail in newsletter articles which follow. 


The World Plumbing Council wants strong industry frameworks for plumbing industries, and the Council believes plumbing industries can achieve better frameworks by learning from each other.

The Four Pillars event in Abu Dhabi consisted of presentations from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, Canada, India, the USA and Australia.  Click on Read More for a summary of the presentations and links to the presentation materials.



Two major Four Pillars of Plumbing events have already been planned for 2018.

The first is at the Double Tree Hilton in Ontario California on 17 May 2018. This event will focus on the Products dimension of the Four Pillars framework.

A brief (8.00am to 10.00am) General Meeting of the World Plumbing Council will also be held on 17 May, immediately prior to the Forum. In addition, during the week beginning 14 May the Double Tree Hilton will also host the Emerging Water Technology Symposium (15-16 May), IAPMO Hearings for the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code (15-18 May) and a meeting of the Plumbing Industry Leadership Council (17 May).

The second event is a two day Indian Plumbing Conference with a Four Pillars of Plumbing theme being held by the Indian Plumbing Association, with support from the World Plumbing Council, at the Nehru Science Centre during 26 and 27 October 2018 in Mumbai. The Mumbai conference will have four streams covering all four 'Pillars' - Participation, Practices, Products and Protection. Conference organisers will target Asia, Oceania and Middle East participation as well as inviting international speakers presenting best practice models.

The Indian Plumbing Association is intending a major event, with more than 1,000 participants and large number of exhibitors. The IPA will arrange a partner program and is considering making arrangements for post-conference trips to the nearby beautiful city of Goa.

The Mumbai Four Pillars Conference will be preceded by an Executive Board meeting and a WPC General Meeting in the morning and afternoon of 25 October respectively.



The WPC Chair and other members of the Executive Board have congratulated Mr BSA Narayan on his appointment as a WPC Director. Mr Narayan is a founding Member and current Vice President of the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA) and was nominated for the position by the President of the IPA Mr Gurmit Singh. The nomination period closed 25 November 2017 and, as the only nominee, Mr Narayan was immediately appointed.

BSA Narayan brings a wealth of technical expertise, plumbing industry knowledge and plumbing association experience to the Director position. He is Managing Director of Maple-Engg Design Services in Bengaluru and holds Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Civil Engineering degrees. He is a Life Member of the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers, a Member of the Institute of Engineers and a Fellow of the UK Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineers. Mr Narayan was nominated to the Bureau Of Indian Standards in 2012 to carry out a revision of the National Building Code-India and successfully completed the revision in 2016. He heads the Technical committee of the Indian Plumbing Association.



As noted above in the report of the 18 October meeting of the WPC Executive Board, Mr John Joseph resigned as a WPC Director several days prior to the Executive Board meeting.

At both the Executive Board meeting and the General Meeting, on behalf of the World Plumbing Council as a whole, the Chair Shayne La Combre expressed sincere thanks to John Joseph for his long involvement with the Council and his valuable service on the Executive Board. The Chair will write to Mr Joseph and the Council will issue a certificate of service in appreciation of his important contribution to the WPC and the plumbing industry more broadly.



WorldSkills International held another outstanding WorldSkills Competition, in Abu Dhabi from October 14 to 18 2017. The event showcased the talents and training of 1,300 young people from 59 WorldSkills Member countries across 51 skills competitions. This was the first time the WorldSkills Competition has been held in the Middle East region.

In the Plumbing and Heating event, two Gold Medals, four Bronze Medals and nine Medallions for Excellence were awarded.

The Gold Medal winners were Armin Taxer of Austria and Marcel Wyss of Switzerland. The Bronze Medal winners were Nima Hosseinpoursaloukolaei (Iran), Hyeongwook Kim (Korea), Björn Landin (Sweden) and Daniel Martins (United Kingdom).

The World Plumbing Council congratulates all those who competed in the Plumbing & Heating event.
See for all of the Competition results.

The next WorldSkills Competition will be held in Kazan Russia in 2019 and the WPC urges plumbing industries worldwide to enter a Competitor. The WorldSkills event in Abu Dhabi was an outstanding success. At the Closing Ceremony in the du Arena, the Competitors, their support teams, 10,000 international visitors and an online global audience discovered who had won the coveted gold, silver, and bronze WorldSkills medals. 


At the October WorldSkills event in Abu Dhabi, WPC Chair Shayne La Combre presented WPC medallions and honorary WPC Individual memberships to all Competitors and Experts in the Plumbing & Heating event category. 

The WPC also recognises that the WorldSkills events would not be the success they are without the individuals and organisations that support, sponsor and encourage competitors to achieve their best. Accordingly this year the WPC extended its recognition program for the WorldSkills Competition to include the competitors' employers, the competitors' training providers and the corporate sponsors of the event. These organizations were awarded honorary WPC Affiliate memberships.


The international Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) is an annual event held by the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) The IWSH Foundation was established by the IAPMO Group and is actively supported by the World Plumbing Council along with other supporters and sponsors.

CPC 2017 took place in Cicau Village, Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java Indonesia. This CPC had two stages, beginning with the Design Week in August and culminating with the Construction Week 9 to 15 November. CPC 2017 was a great success, significantly improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene provision for a school with 300 students that has lacked adequate facilities.

See the outstanding video of Construction Week at The video was produced by a team from the School of Science & Technology in Singapore, who have also been responsible for the videos at prior CPCs. Further information on IWSH activities is available at



Improvements in water and sanitation services, particularly in less developed countries, are being pursued by a large number of global, national and local bodies, ranging from the United Nations to Rotary Clubs.

What is the World Plumbing Council's role in plumbing-related community and economic development?



When the WPC Executive Board met in Abu Dhabi in October, the Directors confirmed their intention to refresh the Council's approach to World Plumbing Day celebrations. For the 2018 World Plumbing Day, the WPC will hold two new competitions:

  • best video of World Plumbing Day celebrations by a WPC Member
  • most innovative promotion of the plumbing industry's vital contribution to well-being and health by a WPC Member.

The prize for best video is US$2,500 and the prize for most innovative promotion of the plumbing industry's contribution is US$1,000. The WPC will also issue award certificates and give recognition to the winners. We are redesigning and producing new WPC support materials for World Plumbing Day celebrations, including car stickers, brochures and a poster. These materials and a Chair's Message for the 2018 World Plumbing Day will be available no later than the end of January.



The World Plumbing Council offers two scholarship opportunities, one for applicants from Developed Countries (Education and Training Scholarship) and another for Developing or Least Developed Countries, which is generously sponsored by the United Association (UA).

All members of the plumbing industry are invited to apply for these scholarship programs. Each of the scholarships provides up to US$10,000 in funding to cover approved expenses. The 2016 Scholarship winners (who undertook their international studies in 2017), both made excellent use of their opportunity.

Click on READ MORE below for more on the Scholarship Program, the activities undertaken by the 2016 recipients and commentary about future directions of the Scholarship Program.



The WPC is exploring ways to better harness and expand its communication network, so that it can more effectively promote the work of the Council and the role of plumbing in human and environmental health more broadly. 



India's massive population continues to increase and its economy is growing rapidly, resulting in huge challenges for its already over-stretched – and in some areas non-existent – sanitation and water supply systems. Growing the skills base of the Indian plumbing industry workforce and the consequent ability to install and maintain sanitation and water services are crucial for India's national development. The industry is aiming at increasing plumbing apprenticeships from 500,000 in 2016-17 to 1,500,000 in 2018-19.


On 6 September 2017, the Military and Civilian Integration's Water Supply & Drainage Seminar was held in Shanghai. The event was organized by the Plumbing Facilities Committee of the China Construction Metal Structure Association, an active Full Member of the World Plumbing Council.

The event featured a series of presentations from industry experts and sponsoring organizations. Mr. Liu Jian, Chairman of the Plumbing Facilities Committee and a Director on the World Plumbing Council Executive Board gave the opening speech at the Seminar. The seminar was attended by many prominent figures in the water supply and drainage sector in China.



The World Toilet Organization and the Australian Water Association held the 16th World Toilet Day Summit in Melbourne Australia over November 21st and 22nd 2017. The Chair and Secretariat of the World Plumbing Council attended the event and other participants included a wide range of experts and key stakeholders in the global water and sanitation services sector.  

The outstanding set of speakers at the Summit included representatives from: WaterAid Australia; Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health unit, World Health Organization; Monash Sustainable Development Institute; Urban Development Department, State of Maharashtra, India; Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade; UNICEF; Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group and Sydney Water.

The presentations are available at



WaterAid recently released a new report, Out of Order. The State of the World's Toilets 2017, describing the status of sanitation services globally – see The report draws on the powerful information collected by the World Health Organization-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (see and an impressive range of other sources to highlight the challenges and successes of countries working to improve sanitation services.



Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) is a trade association of plumbing product manufacturers. Its member companies produce most of the plumbing products in the United States. It functions as a sounding board for its members, a source for industry and market information, and as a coordinating and decision-making body for dealing with industry issues. It is active in many arenas as it helps develop and maintain standards and codes, and it works closely with US government agencies at all levels – federal, state and local. 

As outlined in an excellent article contributed by Ray Valek, of the PMI's communications team, the PMI has an increasingly important role to play in fostering and driving a 'safety culture' for plumbing products and systems. This is especially true in light of the Flint Michigan water crisis, where, like in virtually all post-industrial societies, access to safe drinking water had been taken for granted.



The concept of backflow prevention is quite simple, yet to truly understand it in the context of cross connection control, and have the knowledge and skill to test and repair backflow devices, requires a high level of ongoing training, writes Peter McLennan, President of the Backflow Prevention Association of Australia. Peter McLennan, an Individual Member of the World Plumbing Council, has been involved with backflow prevention since the late 1980's. See  



The European Bathroom Forum (EBF) was established in 2017 to promote the creation of an environmental Water Label for the bathroom space. The aim of this label is ensuring end users have reliable and updated information about the performance of bathroom products in matters such as water and energy consumption. The EBF is comprised of 57 European manufacturers and nine trade bodies and associations from the bathroom industry.

This initiative by the bathroom industry has been conceived with the aim of contributing to the global goals of the European Commission in the field of sustainability and efficiency related to water and energy consumption. The EBF took a major step forward during the CERSAIE Ceramic Fair in Bologna, Italy in September 2018.



The World Plumbing Council congratulates Robert Burgon, on being appointed Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers for 2017-18. The Worshipful Company of Plumbers is one of the most ancient of the Livery Companies of the City of London, having served the City and the craft of plumbing continuously for over 650 years. Robert served as Chair of the World Plumbing Council for the 2008 to 2011 period, following six years of service as a member of the Executive Board. Robert was Chief Executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation for 28 years, as well as making other major contributions to the United Kingdom plumbing industry.



ISH India Powered by IPA, 22-24 February 2018, Bangalore International Exhibition Centre India
ISH India Powered by IPA is a collaborative venture between Messe Frankfurt and the Indian Plumbing Association, India's national body representing the plumbing industry.

The second edition of ISH India powered by IPA will be held 22 to 24 February 2018 at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, alongside leading existing exhibition organizers and industry bodies such as Acrex India and Fire & Safety India Expo in collaboration with ISHRAE (Indian Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers), Fire & Safety Association of India and NürnbergMesse coming together with a vision to create 'Build Fair Alliance' in accordance with Indian government's development vision for smart cities.

World Plumbing Day Celebration, 9 March 2018, PICAC, Melbourne Australia
The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) will again host a large event celebrating World Plumbing Day at its 306 Albert Street Brunswick premises on Friday 9 March 2018.

World Plumbing Day Breakfast, 9 March 2018, Master Plumbers Queensland, Brisbane Australia
Master Plumbers Queensland will host its fourth breakfast event celebrating World Plumbing Day from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday 9 March 2018, with an expected attendance of more than 300 people. Further details will be available on closer to the date of the event.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, 15-16 May 2018, Ontario California
The American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and Plumbing Manufacturers International, in cooperation with the World Plumbing Council, will convene the sixth biennial Emerging Water Technology Symposium at the Double Tree Hilton in Ontario, California, on 15-16 May 2018.

World Plumbing Council General Meeting and Four Pillars of Plumbing Forum, 17 May 2018, Ontario California
On Thursday 17 May 2018 at the Double Tree Hilton in Ontario California, the World Plumbing Council will first hold a brief General Meeting (8.00am-10.00am) and then conduct a Four Pillars of Plumbing Forum until 5.00pm, focused on the products dimension of plumbing industry frameworks.

World Plumbing Council General Meeting, 25 October 2018, Mumbai India
The World Plumbing Council will hold a General Meeting in Mumbai India from 1.00pm to 5.00pm on 25 October 2018.

Indian Plumbing Association 25th Indian Plumbing Conference, 26–27 October 2018, Mumbai India
The Indian Plumbing Association, with support from the World Plumbing Council, will hold a two day Indian Plumbing Conference with a Four Pillars of Plumbing theme at the Nehru Science Centre during 26 and 27 October 2018 in Mumbai. The Mumbai conference will have four streams covering all four 'Pillars' - Participation, Practices, Products and Protection. More than 1,000 participants and large number of exhibitors are expected. The IPA will arrange accommodation packages and a partner program.

World Plumbing Council 12th Triennial World Plumbing Conference, 11-13 September 2019, Melbourne Australia
This three day conference will be based on the WPC's Four Pillars of Plumbing program. The theme will be 'How to build a successful plumbing industry'.

ISH Frankfurt, 11-15 March 2019, Frankfurt Germany
The next ISH, the world's leading trade fair for the combination of water and energy, will be held from 11 to 15 March 2019. ISH will begin on Monday, instead of Tuesday as in the past. The fair will be open to private visitors on the last day, Friday.

Contact to provide an event report or request listing of an upcoming event.

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