Project Title

Reducing Lead in Drinking Water through Standardisation 

Project Year

2023   

Project Number

SCSC 04 2023A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
View Budget TableView Budget Table
|
PrintPrint

Project No.

SCSC 04 2023A 

Project Title

Reducing Lead in Drinking Water through Standardisation 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2023 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

91,240 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

91,240 

Sponsoring Forum

Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) 

Topics

Conformance; Standards 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Indonesia; Japan; Philippines; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/06/2023 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2023 

Project Proponent Name 1

Kent C Shigetomi 

Job Title 1

Director 

Organization 1

Office of the US Trade Representative 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(1-202) 3959459 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

kent_shigetomi@ustr.eop.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Kent C Shigetomi 

Project Summary

Tough yet malleable and easy to bend and work with, lead became the chosen metal for water pipes long ago.  However, lead is a toxic metal that is persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the body over time.  Infants who drink formula prepared with lead-contaminated tap water may be at a higher risk of exposure because of the large volume of water they consume relative to body size.  The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and plumbing fixtures.  The UN Sustainable Development Goals include work to ensure sustainable water and sanitation for all, but regulators may lack the capacity to apply standards and conformity assessment procedures to reduce lead leaching in plumbing.  This project would convene a workshop with water and plumbing experts, standards officials, regulators, and international organization representatives to help economies develop appropriate regulations to reduce lead leaching in drinking water.

Relevance

Relevance - Issues: Lead is a neurotoxin that impairs brain function and irreversibly harms children’s cognitive development. There is no safe level of lead exposure. High levels of lead exposure can be fatal but any exposure to lead can be harmful, especially in children. Each year, approximately 900,000 people die from exposure to lead.  Approximately one in every three children worldwide (about 800 million children) currently have elevated blood lead levels which may be a significant factor in intellectual disabilities, decreased IQ, and in reducing lifelong earning potential. This makes lead not only a serious and significant public health threat but a key environmental risk factor that can exacerbate inequalities in marginalized groups.

Water is a significant, but relatively easier to address, source of lead exposure.  The primary source of lead in drinking-water is lead leaching parts and materials in water systems, including piped networks, plumbing and fixtures in buildings (e.g., homes and schools), and small water systems (e.g., hand pumps and their components). A World Health Organization (WHO) technical brief issued in August 2022 noted that, “[p]revention is the most effective action to reduce exposure to lead through drinking water,” and encouraged global action.

Many economies currently lack policies, standards, regulations, and/or capacity to monitor and limit the manufacture, importation, or installation of products that leach lead in new water systems. As a result, unsuitable parts are readily available in markets where they may be used in water system installation or repairs by implementers who are unaware of the risks they pose.

Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This concept note seeks funding from the APEC Support Fund – General Fund.  The project aims to promote the use of international standards to eliminate the use of lead plumbing.

Developing Human Capital:  Regulators will gain a better understanding of the applicable international standards related to plumbing that address water quality, material safety, and performance.  They will learn how they can apply these standards into domestic regulations.  They will also learn about the international efforts to improve water quality and how other economies are implementing those commitments.

Integration into the Global Economy:  The application of international standards that address water quality, material safety, and performance will expand trade in products that meet those standards because more economies will apply the same standard.  Lead leaching plumbing products will be used less and public health will rise.

Safeguarding the Quality of Life Through Environmentally Sound Growth:  No amount of lead is safe.  The key to improving the quality of life is to seek to eliminate lead in plumbing.  To do so, we need to broaden knowledge of the applicable standards related to lead-free plumbing so that economies can integrate them into domestic regulations.

Capacity Building: APEC’s goals for capacity building seek to “attain sustainable growth and equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region;” and to “reduce economic disparities among APEC economies…”  The objectives aim to “help Members to participate more fully in the regional economy as well as in the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation process.”

There can be no sustainable growth without public health.  The effects of lead in plumbing are often invisible for decades.  When children are affected, it may be years until the effects are detected.  Lead in plumbing can negatively affect an entire region or economy.  When technical regulations do not prohibit the use of lead in plumbing, the risk remains.  The goal of this project is to raise awareness of the problem and to partner with economies to prevent lead leaching in drinking water systems.  We expect that certain developing economies will specifically benefit:  Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Viet Nam.

Objectives

The objective of the project is to promote the adoption of plumbing product regulations and conformity assessment procedures that address water efficiency, safety, and quality, with a particular focus on markets where regulations are nonexistent or unenforced.  By utilizing international standards and conformity assessment processes, plumbing product regulations will become harmonized and public health will be enhanced.  In addition, the project seeks to leverage global attention on the dangers posed by lead in drinking water as an instrument for building political will to take action and to introduce government ministries to key plumbing standards.

Alignment

Alignment to APEC: This project seeks to educate participants about the dangers of lead in the water supply and to promote the use of international standards and conformity assessment procedures in the development of technical regulations related to water.  The use of these international standards and conformity assessment procedures will help reduce levels of lead in water and improve public health.

In the Aotearoa Plan of Action, under the “Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth” pillar, economies have agreed to “ensure that the Asia-Pacific region is resilient to shocks, crises, pandemics and other emergencies” by “foster[ing] quality growth that brings palpable benefits and greater health and wellbeing to all…”  Economies agreed to take action to “adopt and strengthen regulatory approaches, sound public sector governance, and take other measures that support economic inclusion, greater health, wellbeing and resilience for all.”  Under the same pillar, economies agreed to “promote economic policies, cooperation and growth, which will support global efforts to comprehensively address all environmental challenges, including climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters, for a sustainable planet.”  They agreed to “cooperate in relevant APEC fora to develop, encourage and exchange best practice policies, and promote capacity building programmes, that address all environmental challenges - including climate change - and support sustainable growth…”

Alignment to Forum: The SCSC is focused on reducing trade barriers that may arise because of technical regulations. The SCSC terms of reference notes that the objectives of the committee are to “endeavor to reduce technical barriers to trade and enhance market access through standards and conformance;” and “endeavor to align national standards with international standards…”  The use of international standards and conformity assessment procedures related to water can ensure greater public health for APEC economies.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: 

1.  Pre-Workshop Survey and Questionnaire

The project overseer will conduct an online, pre-workshop survey that will aim to determine what standards or technical regulations economies have related to plumbing, and specifically to the use of lead in plumbing. The survey will be distributed to all APEC economies. The main purpose of the Survey is to design Workshop Program that best fits the needs of APEC members. Through survey responses, those economies with high use of lead plumbing will be identified, and outreach will be made to identify the specific challenges that these economies face in modifying their domestic requirements.  In some instances, the problem may be lack of awareness of alternatives.  In such cases, the project may adjust speakers to address that concern.  In other cases, the problem may be cost.  The program may be adjusted to reflect the specific challenges that economies face. The findings from the Survey will also be presented at the Workshop.

2. Workshop

The main focus of the project is to organize and stage a one-day in-person workshop, with a possibility of virtual participation if needed, in Seattle, the United States on the margins of SCSC 3 (August 2023). The workshop will include sessions outlining steps that economies can take to reduce lead in water supplies, including:

a) Public health consequences of lead drinking water

b) International efforts led by the WHO, UNICEF and other stakeholders to ensure that all new water systems are constructed with products and materials that meet limitations on lead leaching.

c) Role of national policies and regulations based on international standards and testing/certification requirements for products and materials used in drinking water systems that address lead-leaching, material safety, and performance

d) Impact on domestic and international manufacturers of products and materials used in drinking water systems

e) Role of training and certification of professionals to oversee the design and construction of safe drinking water systems.

3. Project Summary Report

An electronic report of minimum of 4 pages (excluding annexes) that will be available to all economies will be developed at the end of the workshop. It will contain the executive summary, information on the experts/speakers involved, key discussions based on experts/speakers’ materials/presentations and questions-and-answer session, key recommendations, conclusion and annexes which may include agenda, pre-event assessment/post-event evaluation results and other relevant information as appropriate. These materials will be e-mailed to participants and will be made available in the APEC website. It is not expected to be an official APEC publication.  Recommendations for future work will be prepared as part of the report guided by the discussions/results of the workshop.  The project overseer will also survey and compile feedback from participants, especially input related to possible areas for future capacity-building activities.

Outcomes: 

1) The key outcome of this project is the enhanced ability of regulators in APEC economies to understand and apply international standards to eliminate the use of lead plumbing.  Regulators will learn from international standards organizations and other economies who have taken steps to implement the appropriate standards.

2) This workshop will demonstrate to officials in APEC economies the public health consequences of lead plumbing and to make them aware of cooperative international efforts that economies may participate in.  This will hopefully lead to greater international cooperation. 

3) Economies who require technical assistance to achieve their public policy goals will have the opportunity to engage with standards developing organizations and international bodies.  This may facilitate future work.

4) As more economies become engaged in this work, this will lead to 4.

Beneficiaries: The target participants for this project will primarily be regulators and public health officials in APEC economies and from international organizations.  All relevant materials will be made available to non-participants free of charge on the APEC website. It is expected that participants and SCSC members will share the outcomes from the workshop within their governments. 

Women will actively participate in the planning, management, allocation of resources, and implementation of the project and will play key decision-making roles in planning the workshop. The project overseer will actively encourage the participation of women in the workshop, including as presenters at the workshop. 

Description of Appropriate Workshop Participants: 

1) Regulators:  This workshop is intended to enhance regulators’ understanding of the public health consequences of lead in drinking water and the standards and regulatory tools that can be used to prevent it.  Officials from government agencies should have a basic understanding of the rulemaking procedures in their economy and an understanding of public health consequences of lead in drinking water.  Ideally, they should have line or supervisory responsibility for the development or implementation of regulations in their economy.  Government regulators from economies that have already taken steps are welcome because they have experience to share. 

2) Private Sector and Civil Society:  Sound standards-related measures should be developed through a process that provides for meaningful consultation with the public.  As a result, representatives of organizations that regularly review and provide comments to draft measures are also ideal participants.  In addition, representatives of organizations that represent SMEs or women-owned businesses would also provide a different perspective.  Specifically, the project overseer will consult with advisory committees that provide input on trade-related issues to the U.S. government (see “Gender,” below).  The project overseer will consult with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which has deep experience in identifying and incorporating the views of small and medium-sized organizations. 

3) Representatives of international organizations: International organizations have conducted important work to raise public consciousness of the problem of lead in drinking water and the steps that governments can take to reduce it.  Officials from the World Health Organization and the United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) could provide information on the impact of lead on public health, especially children’s development.   Representatives of standards development organizations can discuss the role that standards play in limiting the use of lead in pipes. 

4) Representatives of Other APEC Groups:  The issue of reducing lead in drinking water would be of interest to several other working groups.  The Health Working Group works to improve economies’ health systems.  The Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) works to build capacity through the development of human capital and infrastructure.  The project overseer will reach out to other APEC groups to encourage participation.

Dissemination

1) The number, form and content of any publications:  The results of the workshop will be captured into a Project Summary Report that can be published electronically on the APEC Project Database and/or the Meeting Documents Database for members’ reference. The electronic publication will include the workshop agenda, presentations, curricula vitae of speakers and a summary report of the workshop. This information will be accessible to the public following the workshop to ensure that only updated information is reflected therein.

2) Channels of dissemination:  Only the APEC website will be used to share workshop results.

3) The target audience:  The target audience would include government regulators, organizations that develop standards or conformity assessment procedures, and representatives of trade associations.

4)  Any intention to sell outputs arising from this project:  There is no intention to sell the outputs arising from this project. Member economies will be encouraged to disseminate results of the workshop with their respective agencies and business communities through their websites.

Gender

Both men and women in the APEC region are affected by health-related measures. In the case of lead in drinking water, children are especially vulnerable because their physical development is not yet complete.  Consequently, the project overseer will make a strong effort to reach out to health experts to help communicate the consequences of lead in drinking water on children and other groups.

The team of officials in the United States that is overseeing the project include both male and female officials. The proposing economy leads are facilitated by both genders according to the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals of the Guidebook on APEC Projects.

The project overseer will consult closely with the advisory committees who provide input on trade issues to the U.S. Government, including the Industry Trade Advisory Committees, groups of private sector representatives who will also be able to provide a range of views, including the views of women-owned businesses.  The project overseer will consult with other economies to identify similar groups that can provide input.

PO is committed to collecting sex disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (not only those funded by APEC) at the project event. This data will be included when submitting a Completion Report to the Secretariat upon completion of the project, as well as providing guidance to future POs on their own gender parity targets.

Targets

Female Participants (%)

50 percent

Female Speakers/Experts (%)

50 percent

Referring to the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals in the Guidebook on APEC Projects, please tick the pillar or pillars that this project supports, in promoting women’s economic empowerment:

Women are engaged as standards developers and engineers, two areas that are directly affected by the project.  As standards developers, they are engaged in producing plumbing standards.  Women engineers must design and install plumbing systems that meet health and safety requirements.  Consequently, female participants will be able to enhance their skills (pillar 3) and be their knowledge of innovative technologies that can strengthen public health.  Women in economies that produce lead-free plumbing will benefit because market opportunities will grow as economies shift to non-lead products.


5 Pillars (you may tick more than one)

1

Access to Capital and Assets

2

Access to Markets

X

3

Skills, Capacity Building, and Health

X

4

Leadership, Voice and Agency

5

Innovation and Technology

X


Work Plan



Timeline

Tasks

Deliverables

June 2023

Anticipated notification by PMU that the project proposal has been approved.

Formal work may begin

June - July 2023

Circulate the Pre-workshop Survey and Questionnaire through the Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) to share information on the project timeline and to seek responses on priority areas of interest.

Assemble U.S. project implementation team and assign specific tasks (e.g., logistics, data analysis, participant identification).

Development of General Information Circular, including agenda and nomination form as annexes for circulation to SCSC members.

Pre-workshop Survey and Questionnaire results that would include indications of interest from economies on areas to focus on

July 2023

Begin reaching out to potential speakers. Once the date of SOM 3 and the workshop have been set, notify travel eligible economies and ask for nominations for participants.

Finalize agenda and speaker lists.  Approve travel plans for delegates from travel eligible economies.

Draft agenda and speaker list.

Finalize participant list and speakers.

August 2023

Conduct pre-event assessment and collect the responses

Hold workshop at SOM 3. After the event, circulate post-event evaluation.

Provide in-person report at SCSC 2/SOM 3.

Project Workshop

Webinar agenda, Event Attendance List, and Post-event

Evaluation

1 October 2023

Submit the Project Monitoring Report to the Secretariat

APEC Project Monitoring Report

31 October 2023

Compile workshop notes into a report

Project Summary Report

February 2024

Submit APEC Project Completion Report and the Supporting Documents to APEC Secretariat

APEC Project Completion Report

6-12 months after the project implementation

Participate in the Longer-Term Evaluation of APEC Projects (LTEAP) Survey conducted by the APEC Secretariat

Contact participants to determine how they have implemented the lessons from the workshop.

Long-Term Evaluation of the APEC Projects Survey

Risks

No.

Risks

How will it be managed?

1

If the project is approved, there will be only approximately 10 weeks between notification and SOM 3.  This may make the planning process, including booking room space and arranging for speaker and participant travel more difficult.

The project overseer has already begun drafting the General Information Circular (GIC).  The project overseer is in close contact with the State Department administrative team to ensure that the project is properly integrated into the SOM 3 schedule.

2

The dates for the workshop may conflict with other international health-related meetings.  This could affect availability of speakers and participants.

This risk is difficult to manage, since the dates for APEC and other organizations’ meetings are developed separately.

3

The United States requires diplomatic visas for government officials of other economies.  These officials cannot enter the United States on their tourist passports.  It takes time to process diplomatic visa applications.

When the project overseer sends out a request for nominations from travel eligible economies, he will note the visa requirement and the need for prompt responses.  The same will apply for workshop speakers.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation Focus

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting Method

Outputs

1.   Pre-workshop Survey and Questionnaire

1. No. of survey responses received

75% response rate from those economies we believe are still using lead pipes.  50 percent from remaining economies.

Certification of POs

Completion Report

2.    No. of areas of interest identified

2 Additional Issues (We are aware of the general areas of interest, but we expect that survey responses will reveal issues we have not contemplated.  We expect one or two additional issues.)

Analysis of Survey Response

Completion Report

3.    % of response from surveyed economies

75% response rate from those economies we believe are still using lead pipes.  50 percent from remaining economies.

Certification of POs

Completion Report

4.   Workshop (SOM 3, 2023)

1.    No. of participants (excl. speakers/ experts)

60

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

2.    % of participating men/women (excl. speakers/experts)

50/50

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

3.    No. of speakers/
experts engaged

5

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

4.    % of speakers/
experts (men/women)

50/50

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

5.    No. of attending economies

16

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

6.    No. of travel eligible economies

11

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

3.   Project Summary Report

1.    No. of pages

4 – 6

Certification by PO

Email to the Secretariat

2.    Submission to the Secretariat

31 October 2023

Submission to the Secretariat

Email to the Secretariat

Outcomes

1. Enhanced ability of regulators

% of participants reporting substantial knowledge increase

75 %

Post-event evaluation

6-month post-event evaluation

PowerPoint Report to SCSC

Completion Report

2. Increased awareness of public health consequences of lead plumbing and of international cooperation in this area

% of participants reporting substantial knowledge increase

75%

Post-event evaluation

6-month post-event evaluation

Immediate responses can be identified in the completion report.  Responses that come later will be captured in a report to the SCSC.

3. Increased engagement with standards developing organizations and international bodies

% of economies engaged in follow-up work with standards developers or international organizations.

This outcome depends on the number of economies that identify assistance needs.

Post-event evaluation

6-month post-event evaluation

Immediate responses can be identified in the completion report.  Responses that come later will be captured in a report to the SCSC.

4. Stronger results to eliminate lead in plumbing

% of economies reporting intention to eliminate lead in plumbing

We aim for 50% of those economies who expressed a desire to reduce lead to begin work to do so.

Post-event evaluation

6-month post-event evaluation

Immediate responses can be identified in the completion report.  Responses that come later will be captured in a report to the SCSC.

Others


Linkages

The Project Overseer will invite members from relevant APEC fora such as HWG and PPSTI to attend the Workshop.

There is a strong relationship between international standards and good regulatory quality.  The WTO TBT Agreement establishes rules on developing, adopting, and applying voluntary product standards and mandatory technical regulations as well as conformity assessment procedures (such as testing or certification) used to determine whether a particular product meets such standards or regulations.  By promoting the use of international standards related to plumbing, there will be fewer differences between economies and producers will be able to export their goods to multiple economies.  Economies will benefit from the collective knowledge of international bodies when developing technical regulations.

Sustainability

Reducing lead leaching in plumbing cannot be accomplished in the short or medium term.  However, long term changes will be driven by incremental steps, such as an awareness of the problem and identification of what must change in the short term.  Long term progress can also be affected by participation in international efforts, because such workstreams can provide financial and technical assistance to drive progress.

The workshop aims to survey the APEC landscape to identify where and what kinds of changes are needed, to disseminate information and to build momentum towards wider changes.  The project overseer will follow up on participants after the workshop to check progress, answer questions, and facilitate human connections to international efforts.

Implementing economy-wide changes to water systems is a time-consuming and costly project.  Large scale, short term changes are therefore unrealistic.  The project overseer will monitor engagement between economies and outside bodies (standards bodies, international organizations) to monitor changes.

Project Overseers

Kent Shigetomi, an official within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will serve as the project overseer.  He is currently the chair of the APEC Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) and has represented the United States in this committee since 2015.  Mr. Shigetomi has served as the sole or joint project overseer on six APEC projects, the most recent of which was held in February 2023.


Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

 

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
Version: 4.0 
Created at 12/07/2023 10:48  by Lucy Phua 
Last modified at 16/05/2024 12:46  by Lucy Phua 
Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
Content Type: Standard Proposal
Version:
Created at by
Last modified at by
Go Search