Water Industry Process Automation & Control


Water Industry Process Automation & Control started as a discussion group on the business networking website LinkedIn on the 16th May 2011. The group quickly grew in size to over a 1,000 members within the first seven months of existence. It initially asked questions of the group establishing the state of instrumentation, process automation & control within the water industry.

Shortly after the group began and as a reaction to its rapid growth in number further steps were taken to strengthen the technical nature of the group. The first step was the production of a group newsletter, "WIPAC Monthly" which is released to the group members at the end of each month. WIPAC Monthly includes articles, papers, group news and case studies of automation & control within the water industry. The next step taken was to setup a blog (www.wipac.wordpress.com) which included group news and information that couldn't wait until the next monthly newsletter which due to the popularity of WIPAC Monthly has now been disbanded. 

The next step taken was to put together a group charter in order to simply state what the aims of the group were. This was first published in WIPAC Monthly in January 2012.

The group's charter is:

WIPAC’s aims to promote greater and better targeted use of instrumentation, process control & automation , in order to improve the efficiency of water & wastewater networks and treatment.

Over the past few months the group has grown to what it is at the time of writing, a group of professionals discussing the way forward for the industry considering the global pressures that are put upon it including the demands to reduce energy whilst complying with tighter and tighter consent limits in wastewater or an ever increasing demand in potable water. The two are at odds with each other and this is what the industry has to deliver in the years to come.

It is my firm belief that those who operate the water and wastewater treatment works of the world are going to need some assistance in delivering these demands and that assistance is going to come from instrumentation, process control & automation. The group has since its start turned into a community of professionals that share where things have gone wrong and also where things have gone right.

It is my intention, with the help of others, to take the messages that have been discussed on WIPAC to a wider stage. A sub-group has been set up which is small in size but contains a number of influential people who already deliver the message of process automation & control to a wider audience with the assistance of the group as a whole. The main aims of this group are:
  • To grow the sphere of influence of the group by drawing from the global water industry as a whole
  • Bring together the experiences of the wider group and of others to highlight the good practises that exist within the water industry around the subject of instrumentation, process control & automation, either by case-studies, or papers
  • To work collaboratively with other groups who are also promoting the message of process control & automation whether these be part of larger organisations or not
  • To look to spread the message of process automation & control by drawing on the strength of the group or directly contributing to conferences or similar such events.
  • These aims an the strategic direction of WIPAC have been set as instrumentation, process automation & control are seen as an essential part of the future water industry if demands are going to be met and the environment protected.

The group is going from strength to strength and it passed the 3,000 member mark just short of its 2nd birthday and now as it approaches its 5th Birthday is over 6,000 members. WIPAC Monthly which is the monthly update to members is sent out to all members of the group and comments come in from around the world to the group manager, Oliver Grievson. Over 20 issues have been published with over 50 papers & articles on all aspects of instrumentation process automation & control.

Further future developments for WIPAC are going to include the development of an industry directory of instrumentation, process control & automation practitioners and their products
/services. It will be free to publicise in and receive and those interested should get in touch with the WIPAC group manager either through LinkedIn or by e-mail

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