Water, water seemingly everywhere, but how much can we drink? Here’s why water conservation is important and how it will impact environmental jobs.
Why Water Conservation is Important and How It Impacts Environmental Jobs
While about 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, the oceans hold about 97% of the total; and as we know, it’s too salty to drink or use for crop irrigation. The remaining 3% is fresh water found in glaciers, ice, and below ground. Fresh water is a precious commodity that must be accessed and kept free of pollution for life – human, animal, and plant – to thrive.
Consumers are taking notice. In its annual Global Outlook and Sustainability report, Mintel finds that consumers rank water shortage among their top environmental concerns (35%), reflecting a desire to conserve resources for future reliance. This is just one reason why water conservation is important.
Droughts come and go in different regions of the United States and the world, and climate change is expected to have an impact on the severity of those dry periods. Keeping our fresh water supply free of hazardous chemicals and pollutants is a top task of governments and scientists who work with them.
The US Geological Survey has published a report showing at least 45% of the tap water in the United States has at least one or more types of chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), which is another reason why water conservation is important.
As concern for clean water continues to grow, we’ll see an increasing need for scientists and employees trained in environmental fields. It is the responsibility of local and state governments to provide clean water for their residents, as well as the responsibility of businesses to be efficient in its use and minimize pollutants and runoff.
In addition to hiring for water conservation efforts, related sectors include water management, construction and infrastructure maintenance, as well as water supply and sanitation.
In the United States alone, between 30% and 50% of the water utilities workforce is reaching retirement age, according to the United Nations. Occupations related to water and wastewater treatment are projected to have higher-than-average replacement rates through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nearly 1.7 million workers fill jobs across the water sector in the U.S. While some jobs require advanced degrees, many have lower educational barriers to entry-level jobs while earning more competitive pay, according to Brookings.
The need for investment into aging and inefficient infrastructure is also a potential driver for employment in the sector. The total size for the water industry is estimated to be $100 billion in the United States and $500 billion worldwide.
EnviroStaff partners with environmental service professionals to connect them with clients who are looking to grow their teams on a permanent basis. As part of a healthy environment, maintaining clean water requires a diverse set of skills for finding, using and protecting water resources.
Environmental consulting roles recruited by EnviroStaff include biologists, project managers and engineers, geological engineers, chemical engineers, civil engineers, environmental scientists, geologists, and GIS specialists.
State and local health or environmental departments often test for nitrates, total coliforms, fecal coliform, volatile organic compounds, and pH (see above). Health or environmental departments or county governments maintain a list of the state-certified laboratories for testing private water systems. EnviroStaff can help staff labs with chemists, sample prep technicians and sample login custodians.
Water workers are employed everywhere, speaking to their enormous geographic reach. EnviroStaff’s deep well of expertise in these fields can match your skills to some of the most important, impactful environmental jobs available. For a growing number of people, fresh water tops that list – and that’s why water conservation is important.
EnviroStaff is a division of LGC that focuses on making placements in the environmental industry. We build partnerships with clients to fill open positions on their team and have recruiting capabilities within multiple markets throughout the U.S.