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Monday, May 26, 2014

Sectors Involved in Water Treatment You Should Consider a Career In

It isn’t at all uncommon to take the water that flows from taps and disappears down drains for granted, until you get hit with an outrageous water bill, but the water treatment sectors are quiet achievers, providing industries and societies with clean water, disposing of waste water and managing water so that we can enjoy a constant source of it each and every time we turn on a tap.

Water and the future – Another example of resource scarcity waiting to happen

In the future, citizens of the developed world can expect water to become an issue as it is, or has been, in much of the developing world – the UN estimates that one fifth of the world’s population is currently affected by water scarcity.

If water becomes a scarce resource in the developed world we would all be affected for the worse and life as we know it would cease to exist – commodity prices would skyrocket, drinking water would become an issue and none of us would be afforded the luxury of taking long, hot showers ever again.
This is one of many reasons why there’s a growing need for skilled workers to take up positions and gain hands-on experience in positions such as water hygiene and treatment specialists, legionella specialists and sewage treatment specialists.

Sectors involved in water treatment

In addition to the sectors that are traditionally involved in water treatment, the need to address the issue of water as an increasingly scarce resource has spawned the need for other sectors, some of which haven’t traditionally been involved in water treatment, to enter the picture.

“As we approach some planetary tipping points, and resulting irreversible changes,” says Nikhil Seth, the director of the Sustainable Development division at the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “innovative perspectives and paradigm shifts are necessary.”

These innovative perspectives are coming from a wide and diverse array of sectors; take a look at the breakdown of the sectors that start-ups hail from according to Lux Research’s ‘Making Money in the Water Industry’ study.

- Monitoring, forecast and control – 25 percent
- Organic, nutrients and soil treatment – 24 percent
- Metal or organics removal/recovery – 16 percent
- Disinfection – 10 percent
- Desalination – 5 percent
- Leak repair and pipe replacement – 5 percent
- Reuse and non-traditional sourcing – 4 percent
- Scalant and corrosion control – 4 percent
- Liquid/liquid and liquid/gas separation – 4 percent
- Pumps and valves – 2 percent
- Other – 1 percent

This means that anyone interested in addressing the issue of water scarcity has a broad and diverse range of sectors to consider a career in and they are therefore not limited to working in a water treatment plant in order to help make a difference, in fact; it’s safe to say that they could actually make a much more meaningful contribution by seeking a career in the desalination or monitoring, forecast and control sectors.

Here are three examples of start-ups that are involved in the water industry.
  1. Baswood is a Californian company that specialises in commercial biological waste treatment technologies that are designed to mimic “natural processes for breaking down organic materials that are found in riverine environments.”
  2. BioGill is an Australian company that specialises in above-ground wastewater treatment and water recycling bioreactors. Its clients include food production plants, breweries and wineries.
  3. Gradek Energy is a Canadian company that’s notable for having developed an organic bi-polymer bead that’s capable of recovering oil without the need for a chemical reaction. This organic bi-polymer bead could play a major role in processing wastewater from oil sand production.
These examples show the diversity of the sectors involved in water treatment and how exciting and revolutionary the work they’re carrying out is.

If you’re in possession of the qualifications required to work in any of the many sectors involved in water treatment or would like to gain an understanding of what you’ll need to work towards, take a look at the websites of recruitment agencies like Future-Select as you’ll find a wealth of positions that you might like to consider applying for in a wide array of sectors that are working on innovative, revolutionary ways to address the issue of water scarcity.
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