- Study at Deakin
- Campus life
- Industry and community
- About Deakin
Whether you aspire to sit on the 34th floor of an office tower engaging in high-level negotiations on project finance for a desalination plant design-build-operate contract, or work on-site optimizing the operation of a sewage treatment plant, water has the career for you.
Water permeates every aspect of society and the environment, and as a consequence engineering careers in water reflect the full diversity of engineering practice. Working in water also means you can do meaningful work and feel proud of your contribution to society and the environment.
Many current water management practices are unsustainable, even without the impact of climate change, meaning that the cost of managing water will increase, and employment opportunities in water will continue to grow. The most interesting water management challenges occur at the interface with other practice areas such as energy, urban design, ecology, agriculture, anthropology, manufacturing, geomorphology and mining (just to name a few).
Here are some specific growth areas where there will be great job opportunities and where you may want to try your hand.
In many regions of the world, including South America, the Mediterranean, Middle-East, South Asia, China and of course Australia, urban areas face water shortages. Desalination technology allows salty or brackish water…or even sewage… to be made potable. Hundreds of desalination and reuse plants are already operational around the world, but new technologies are continuously emerging …creating a great play-ground for you tech-head mechanical types.
Sewage is an abundant source of nutrients, and there is an increasing focus on how it can be used as a resource. Options include biogas generation, algae power and phosphorus recovery by anaerobic digestion. Most wastewater is still underutilized, making this a major growth area. Vision across the full energy and nutrient cycle is required here. Great for chemical or environmental engineers.
Climate-change is a particularly large threat to our dam dependent major cities. As rainfall goes down, dam inflows fall exponentially. Our cities require alternative water sources. Desalination is one solution, but another is to use our high-rainfall urban spaces as water supply catchments.
This requires water engineering to be fully integrated into urban planning and architectural practice, but also gives us an opportunity to re-imagine the way we live with water in our cities. This is an area where the science of water quality management meets the civil engineering challenge of water quantity management in interesting ways.
The CSIRO has identified engineering for efficiency as being one of the big growth areas for science in our increasingly resource depleted world. Water is no exception.
If we are going to double the food-supply by 2050 as we have to to feed the world, we are going to have to make some dramatic changes to how we use water to grow food.
The increasing cost of water will also mean that industry and householders will be looking for ways to avoid water use. Do you have an idea for a waterless washing machine or mineral extraction process?
These are just a few of the growth areas in water. When employers in the water sector come to us looking for staff, they are looking for the same things as employers everywhere else: Smart, enthusiastic, mature people who can work with others and want to take responsibility for and ownership of the people and projects around them.
H2Otalent is a recruitment business specializing in the water sector. We partner with exceptional organisations to identify, attract and develop water leaders.