In South Africa, it is estimated that the gap between supply and demand for water could be as high as 17% by 2030.
In South Africa, it is estimated that the gap between supply and demand for water could be as high as 17% by 2030.

Why you should consider a career in the water sector

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Feb 25, 2021

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Water is vital to our survival and yet most countries of the world face some sort of water-related issue. Whether it is water scarcity, flooding or pollution –the impact is colossal.

The process of drinkable water from dam to tap is an interesting one, with many careers involved in ensuring every household has access to drinkable water.

As a water professional, there are many places within the sector where you could add value. After all, water is a sought-after resource.

According to the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA), in South Africa, it is estimated that the gap between supply and demand for water could be as high as 17% by 2030. Effective water management requires that interrelated factors and needs are considered. Difficult choices have to be made, and conflicting needs must be catered for as much as possible.

Here are three reasons why you should consider a career in the water sector, according to Study In Hungry.

1. You get to make a difference

In solving some of the water issues that eventually reach crisis level, you get to contribute to creating a sustainable, environment-friendly future for all. It is also a great feeling to know your work makes a difference, no matter how small or big.

2. International prospects

In the near future, we will witness massive collaborations and knowledge exchange between governments, companies and research hubs to try to tackle the looming water shortage.

“The sharing of best practices and know-how will be a requirement for professionals in the sector, so it is very unlikely that you will be chained to your desk in the Durban/Pretoria/Johannesburg office of your company or institute. Remember, water is a global industry, so if you are any good, you are bound to travel, network, and maybe, even take on longer assignments abroad.”

3. Accelerated innovation

There are several entities you can join that focuses on reforming the water industry. From infrastructure, recycling or purifying to industrial solutions for manufacturers. A career in the water sector can take you across many industries, municipalities, agriculture, cleaning and treatment plants, all the way to education (children washing hands).

A career in water offers the opportunity to help deliver clean water and renew our world’s most vital resource.

Here are some careers within the water industry.

1. Water Consultant

As a consultant, you will provide advisory services to clients in the water and wastewater industry, interrogate water and wastewater processes and provide solutions for efficiencies. You will also be required to develop water and wastewater management systems and deliver succinct, professional reports on audits of water and wastewater treatment processes, and at times, co-ordinate laboratory analyses.

2. Water Plant Operator

Water is pumped from wells, rivers, streams, and reservoirs to water treatment plants, where it is treated and distributed to customers. According to Career Explorer, a water treatment plant operator runs the equipment, control the processes, and monitor the plants that treat the water. Most water treatment plant operators work for local governments, while many others work for water, sewage, and other systems utilities and for waste treatment and disposal services.

3. Millwright (Water)

A millwright is responsible for the planning, designing and being the technical lead for projects, mainly related to mechanical works (municipal water infrastructure and sanitation works). They are also required to assemble and reassemble equipment for repair or transportation, build the foundation for machines, review and interpret engineering specifications, and schematics.

4. Hydrological engineering

Hydrological engineering, also called water resources engineering, is concerned with the flow and storage of water, and also focuses on preventing floods and lessening the effects of floods, droughts, and other natural disasters.

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