Leonard Millis
President: 1974-76 (IWSA)


Leonard Millis

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Leonard William Francis Millis (1908-1986) was professionally educated in the early 1930s in London and received a BSc degree in Economics.

He was the Managing Director of the British Waterworks Association (BWA) from 1939 to74.  During Millis’s tenure, the BWA was a central authority on standards and some elements of regulation and provided linkages between waterwork members who supplied drinking water throughout Britain.

Beyond the already broad scope of BWA’s role in water supply, Millis played a key role in water supply throughout the difficulties facing Britain during the WWII period.  In the post-war period, he was engaged in both the creation and administration of the International Water Supply Association (IWSA) alongside his duties at BWA.

He retired in 1974 as BWA’s Managing Director.  He was knighted in 1977.

Major Contributions to IWA

IWSA’s origins are attributable to a collaborative effort of Millis, working from the platform of the British Waterworks Association, and Professor Krul of the Netherlands, who worked at a national level in the Netherlands to expand and regionalize drinking water provision.  Together, they sought to develop an international association that could promote best practices in the provision of drinking water in the aftermath of WWII and beyond, on a worldwide scale.  Their early efforts were joined by France and Belgium, leading to the formal formation of IWSA in 1947 and the completion of this effort in 1949.

Following the creation of IWSA, Millis served as its first Secretary General in parallel with his duties at BWA. Millis held this position until his retirement in 1974, after which he served as IWSA’s 11th President for the period 1974-76.

Author:  Paul D Reiter

Contributor: Keith Hayward