On behalf of the World Plumbing Council (WPC) Executive Board, I am pleased to have this opportunity to report on our activities since the last general meeting in Lostorf, Switzerland, hosted by the Swiss and Liechtenstein Association of Technical Building Contractors (suissetec) at their Training Centre, Lostorf, Switzerland. Members present very much appreciated Hans-Peter Kaufmann’s overview of his organization and its operations covering their areas of activity including metal roofing, plumbing (gas and water), heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and cooling. There was also considerable interest in the training programs offered at their centre with the focus being on training building services professionals for the future. Thanks to suissetec for hosting the meeting at their training centre and the opportunity to learn from their experiences.
In my last report I also mentioned the Water Innovation Challenge that was held in Singapore in association with Singapore International Water Week. This project has now evolved into the Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC), having briefly been referred to as the Water and Sanitation Challenge. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity in January to welcome to India Grant Steward and SeÃ¡n Kearney representing the organizing group from the WorldSkills Foundation, WPC and IAPMO. Grant and Sean investigated and researched the proposal to conduct the CPC in Nashik, India during 2015 in conjunction with IPA and community groups in the region.
The plan for the CPC event is to now conduct the Challenge in the later half of November 2015 with 3-5 teams from possibly India, Germany, USA, Australia, the UK and Canada.
More teams/participants can be added to the Challenge if there is sufficient interest. The Challenge will be run onsite at either 1-2 primary or high schools and possibly an orphanage, within close vicinity to Nashik city centre residential or slum areas. Suitable sites will be identified in collaboration with Nashik chapter of IPA, Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) and GIZ (based on existing research and development from the City Sanitation Plan, 2011).
The key goals and objectives of the CPC will be to “Design, construct, install and upgrade” toilet and waste facilities onsite. Education and awareness are also key aspects of the CPC goals, hence the focus on schools and youth.
The Teams will design technical manuals and information on installation and maintenance of new systems being developed through the CPC, for use by local community/persons responsible for the facilities after the CPC event. They will also design classroom/teaching aids, and deliver these to the schoolchildren as part of a series of workshops or lessons during the CPC (for example, games, demonstrations and puzzles). Covering two important aspects, the CPC will underpin:
1) Importance of health, hygiene and sanitation, being provided through these new facilities; and
2) Skill promotion: Plumbing/Engineering as a career path, and the professional opportunities.
We think this is an interesting project for WPC and its members and commend it to you. It provides an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how plumbing can assist these communities address access to water and sanitation and at the same time demonstrate that plumbing is vital to global health.
I’m also very pleased to welcome Allen Inlow as the new member of the WPC Executive Board following his success in the recent ballot conducted to fill the casual vacancy created by Jim Kendzel’s resignation.
Allen has many years of experience in association management and is currently the Senior Vice President for Business and Product Development for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) responsible for developing international and domestic industry projects. I very much look forward to his contribution to our WPC activities where he will take on the role of Chairman of the World Plumbing Day Committee.
I would also like to thank the other two nominations for being prepared to make such commitment to the affairs of WPC. I refer to Mr. Tan Wee Teck nominated by the Singapore Plumbing Society and Mr. Clif McLellan, NSF International, USA. I must also recognise and thank Jim Kendzel for his contribution to WPC and his efforts in planning a US regional meeting and as Chair of the World Plumbing Day Committee, and at the same time wish him well in his new endeavours.
Following the WPC Executive Board meeting in Zurich last September, I’m pleased to be able to advise members that the WPC EB have formed a finance committee to oversee the financial management and reporting processes of WPC. The committee consists of:
Ken Gardner, Hon Secretary/Treasurer
Shayne La Combre, Deputy Chairman
Elmar Esser, Director.
While addressing finance matters, I would like to advise that IAPMO has again renewed the WPC trademark and logo licensing agreement effective from January 1, 2015 for a period of 3 years. This agreement, which has been in effect since 2003, has been a wonderful mechanism for providing financial support to the WPC, and a key reason for the financial assets that WPC has in reserve. WPC greatly appreciates this significant contribution by IAPMO to the WPC. If other members would like to discuss the use of the WPC trademark and logo on their products and services we are happy to consider all such proposals.
The WPC Executive Board has also moved to reduce costs associated with the management of the WPC Secretariat and has negotiated a new arrangement with Aqua Global Consultants who have provided the secretariat services over the past three years. The new arrangement will see the responsibilities for the financial management, annual subscriptions and membership renewals etc shared between the Deputy Chairman’s organisation PICAC and the Hon Secretary/Treasurer’s organization, Master Plumbers. Aqua Global Consultants will continue to manage all aspects of the WPC administration except those mentioned earlier, along with the existing representative role as required.
WPC Research Data Base
I commend Kevin Wellman, Pete De Marco and their team working on the WPC Research Data Base website, which is up and running. This database will allow researchers interested in plumbing and water related issues to share and help publicise their work, and improve collaboration amongst researchers. The site also has a separate database for users to recommend new areas of research needed to close a knowledge gap or support standardisation efforts.
I’m pleased to be able to report that the WPC Research Database press release issued recently has been widely published in North America by a number of trade press publications, association newsletters and electronic updates. It has been similarly published in the UK and I’m sure in other countries. We received this unsolicited comment recently from Dr. Simon Reddy: “May I take this opportunity to congratulate the WPC for this initiative and give special thanks to those who developed the database facility. I believe this database will make a significant contribution to the profession of plumbing in developing a global research community for plumbing which did not exist before. I look forward to seeing this database grow and to reading the diverse and interesting contributions to plumbing knowledge, from around the world.”
If you would like to make a contribution to the WPC Research Database go to
WPC Promotional Video
The development of a WPC video has been an interesting and challenging opportunity for Mike Massey ably assisted by Mary George and I thank them for their efforts, along with thanks to all of those who have assisted in this project.
I also express my great appreciation on behalf of WPC to both the NITC and the UA, Full Member organizations of WPC who both contributed US $10,000 each towards the cost of this video production. It would not have been possible to create this production without their generous support.
The video approaches the element of water from a basic point of view. Children, aged between 6 and 15 years old, inquire about the nature, the uses, and the need for water, in our everyday lives. The need for clean, drinkable water and the rising concern to conserve water cannot be over-emphasised.
We are surrounded at all turns by statistics that loudly proclaim that our planet is running out of water, and that the coming years may find us waging wars over this most precious resource that sustains life itself. With this video, we will re-affirm this fundamental value of water – that without water this planet will cease to exist.
While children will engage, question and actively involve themselves in getting to know about water and the supply of potable water and its role in our day-to-day lives, the video will also feature technical information regarding the role good plumbing plays in the efficient use of domestic water supply to households, the very urgent and immediate need for each one of us to actively participate in the conservation for water and the steps that can be taken, big and small, to avoid the wastage of water in our daily lives.
The video links efforts being made across the world by the World Plumbing Council to raise awareness for conserving water. The video attempts not just to involve various segments of the society in raising awareness, but also to question our own attitudes towards this most basic natural resource and to spark new ideas and an outlook for a future that is healthy and plentiful.
The video duration is approximately 5 minutes, and features footage from Lagos, China, Dublin Ireland, USA, Australia and India and captures the essence of the following statement: 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
A brief note on this initiative. The key objectives of this initiative are 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
I’m very pleased to advise that Kevin Wellman convened a very successful UK Regional Meeting of WPC member organizations on the 13th November at the APHC Offices, The Pavilions, Cranmore Drive, Solihull. Points of discussion included a review of the WPC & WPD websites, the WPC Handbook, the proposed WPC video, creation of the WPC Research Database, Safe Plumbing Standards Handbook, the WPC Scholarship program, promotion of membership to the WPC, World Plumbing Day 2015 and the 11th World Plumbing Conference, South Africa, September 2016.
Congratulations to Kevin and the UK members on conducting a successful regional meeting and thank you for your support.
2014 WPC Scholarship Program
Mr Abede Mack, Training Specialist, National Training Agency, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, has been awarded the 2014 WPC Education and Training Scholarship. We congratulate the successful applicant who is clearly very passionate about the difference his studies could make in his home country.
Adebe plans to visit Germany to review their TVET system and take his information, knowledge and learning back to Trinidad and Tobago to develop better plumbing systems there. He also wants to assist in improving water efficiency and environmental sustainability for the benefit of future generations.
Congratulations to Shayne La Combre as Chair of the Education and Training Committee and his very able team on their work in selecting the successful applicants for the 2014 WPC expanded scholarship program.