Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

Water efficiency could provide 3.7m jobs by 2020

Photo: Dave Millet via stock.xchng

A comprehensive report released by US thinktank the Pacific Institute has highlighted the vast potential in job growth connected with increased investments in water efficiency.

The study, Sustainable Water Jobs: A National Assessment of Water-Related Green Job Opportunities, demonstrates how investments into the sector can help tackle contamination, drought and flooding whilst boosting employability.

By increasing sustainable water strategies, the study identified over 136 different job occupations. Within these positions, it says there will be a significant increase in demand for workers equipped with skills essential for landscaping, research, pipe-laying, building inspecting and engineering.

More traditional job occupations including receptionists, public relations and outreach specialists will also become available through sustainable water projects.

This research indicates that water policy can expand demand for workers without bachelors or advanced degrees if occupational training programs and pathways to jobs are created”, said Eli Moore of the Pacific Institute.

However, the occupations with median wages below the national median demonstrate that measures to improve job quality must also be a priority.”

The report also documents 37 sustainable water occupations, each of which will host more than 100,000 workers by 2020. Nine of the 37 require little or no previous work experience or education, allowing an increase in feasible pathways for adults without formal educational backgrounds to gain employment.

Peter Boonman of Pump Aid and Duncan Goose of The One Brand spoke to Blue & Green Tomorrow last March as part of World Water Day. Both highlighted the benefits of investing in water technologies – not only in creating jobs, but also in helping to provide clean water to the nearly 800m people who still don’t have access.

Further reading:

WaterAid urges governments to ‘invest in access to sanitation and water’

Investment in water is a ‘first necessity’

Safe drinking water goal achieved, but not in most deprived areas

Managing water for sustainable prosperity: ‘radical transformations’ needed

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