Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC) in 2010, World Plumbing Day promotes the link between good quality plumbing, public health and safety, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity of modern society. World Plumbing Day allows people from within and outside of the plumbing industry to come together to learn, share knowledge, build connections and find opportunities to collaborate to improve the quality of, and access to, fresh water and safe sanitation.
Plumbing is an incredibly large part of everyday life. Taking a shower, drinking a glass of water from a tap, sitting in an air-conditioned or heated office, doing laundry and flushing the toilet. All of these tasks are possible thanks to trained plumbers and advancements in plumbing.
Although in the UK, we might take all those things for granted, there are still millions of people around the world who lack access to those basic plumbing amenities.
Did you know that:
- almost one-fifth of the world's population currently lives in areas of water scarcity, with a further 500 million people teetering on the edge and soon to follow? And by 2025 it is estimated that this number will grow to two-thirds of the global population?
- only 4 out of 10 people in the world have toilets in their homes?
- 3 in 10 people worldwide (2.1 billion) lack access to safe, readily available water at home
- 6 in 10 people (4.5 billion) lack safely managed sanitation
- 900 million school children across the world have no handwashing facilities - a critical barrier in the spread of deadly diseases
- 361,000 children per year (almost 1000 per day ) under 5 die due to water born diarrhoeal diseases caused by open defecation near waterways
Life without basic plumbing leads to lowered living standards and many serious health consequences. It is then important to celebrate the World Plumbing Day to remind ourselves to be grateful for the skills of those who work on our efficient plumbing systems and raise awareness about the health related outcomes of plumbing that we so often take for granted.
Plumbing improves the world and our lives
Effective plumbing is also essential to helping the environment. With increased water shortages and droughts worldwide, sustainable and energy efficient plumbing are paramount to helping the planet.
Over 1 billion people gained access to piped supplies between 2000 and 2015
The global population of people who used managed sanitation services increased from 28% in 2000 to 39% in 2015
Between 2000 and 2015 the number of people practicing open defecation declined from 1229 million to 892 million, an average of 22 million people per year.
The dual system toilet flush, created in a small town in South Australia in 1980, now uses as little as 4.5 litres of water (This has declined from 11 litres in the first model.)
A 4-minute shower can now use as little as 24 litres of water
Switching to a solar thermal hot water system over electric system can reduce your carbon footprint by 30 percent and is likely to save a large amount of money on energy bills each year.
A plumber’s worth should never be underestimated - after all, safe water and sanitation are the foundations of public health. So this World Plumbing Day, join us in spreading the word about the importance of plumbing and plumbers to protect our health and improve amenity - they do more to keep us safe than many people will ever realise.
Find out more about the World Plumbing Day and how you can support it on www.worldplumbing.org
Sources: Second UN World Water Development Report, UNICEF + WHO update and SDG baseline, www.worldplumbing.org