2023 was a good year for the vital work we do here at IWSH. 

We are pleased to release our 2023 Year in Review, demonstrating how our partners, volunteers, and sponsors helped ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Read Our Report How We Changed Lives Through Plumbing in 2o23  

In 2023, IWSH deepened our impact worldwide, launching new community plumbing projects and improving living conditions for underserved communities. 

IWSH Graphic of 2023 global impact

Promoting Young Plumbers on the Global Industry Stage

At the 2023 ISH trade fair, IWSH collaborated with World Plumbing Council member organizations
to assemble a team of twelve young plumbing apprentices representing eight different countries to build a model project at the trade show. The project showcased how plumbing supports climate protection targets and the responsible and efficient use of resources. The apprentices then worked together to reuse event materials to upgrade a local sports club's facilities:

Promoting Young Plumbers

Launch of Global Lead-Free Pledge and Partnership at the United Nations

At the United Nations Water Conference in New York, IWSH--along with other sector partners--identified solutions and formed commitments to work towards lead-free drinking water globally by 2040.   The Initiative focuses on improving water quality by constructing new water systems with products and materials that meet international standards for lead-leaching, material safety and performance. This work is now included as part of UN’s official Water Action Agenda:

IWSH Global Lead Free Water

Improving Hygiene Facility Access for American Indian Students

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, IWSH improved access to safe, convenient, and affordable laundry facilities for hundreds of students living on campus at Bacone College – Oklahoma’s oldest operating institution of higher learning serving American Indian students:

Improving Hygiene Facility Access

Building Local Capacity to Increase Household Water Efficiency

In Lowndes County, Alabama, IWSH helped increase community participation in the ongoing Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program (BBUWP). By teaching Lowndes County residents how to evaluate their indoor plumbing systems using our bespoke IWSH Household Plumbing Survey, we trained residents how to evaluate plumbing systems for necessary repairs:

Building Local Capacity

Engineered Septic Systems for Navajo Nation Homes

In Navajo Nation, New Mexico, IWSH demonstrated the appropriate design, installation, and maintenance of engineered septic systems, which can be used where conventional, gravity-fed septic systems are failing. The pressurized mound septic systems serve as a working demonstration for Navajo officials, chapter leaders, tradespeople, non-profits, and community members to learn about alternative sanitation solutions:

Engineered Septic Systems

Connecting Skills Showcase with Local Community Enterprise

In Melbourne, Australia, 12 young plumbers from across Australia prepared 16 new hand wash stations for installation at a disability enterprise in Mooroopna, Victoria while competing in the WorldSkills Australia National Championships: 

Local Community Enterprise

Supporting Social Housing Programs Through Apprenticeship Training

In Dublin, Ireland, at the WorldSkills Ireland National Skills Competition, plumbing systems assembled were installed in a local social housing property:

Apprenticeship Training

Curriculum and Classroom for Navajo Technical University

At Navajo Technical University in New Mexico, IWSH developed a plumbing curriculum and helped build a training facility. We provided foundational plumbing skills so students can address basic plumbing repairs in their homes and communities and explore a career in the plumbing trade:

Navajo Technical University

New Program Guide and Website

In addition, IWSH refreshed this website, had its best Giving Tuesday donation drive
ever and developed a new IWSH Program Guide that outlines our three-year approach to how we will coordinate the resources of the plumbing industry to address WASH challenges worldwide

"Billions of people around the world lack access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services," said Gary Hile, IWSH Board of Trustees chair. "Our work at IWSH advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all."  

"As we reflect on the remarkable journey of IWSH in 2023, I am filled with gratitude and inspiration from our sponsors, volunteers, and all of our supporters around the world," said Sean Kearny, managing director of the IWSH Foundation. "The IWSH team looks forward to helping more communities in 2024.