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Published on April 17th, 2012 | by Guest Contributor

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5 Careers That Contribute to Water Conservation


Photo Credit: LASZLO ILYES via Compfight

It may go without saying, but it’s easy to talk about water conservation. As with any other fight worth fighting, sometimes winning involves the willingness to do a little more than just talk.

This is especially true when it comes to being a dedicated conservationist. There is no right or wrong level of commitment when it comes to protecting the world’ most vital natural resource; it is a personal choice that can and does turn into a lifelong journey for some.

While there are many careers that indirectly contribute to water conservation, there are some that put people on the front lines of the global water crisis. Below, we take a look at five general career areas that can get people closer to the fight for water sustainability.

Water Conservationist

Yes, it’s obvious, but it is also relevant and an actual career option for would-be water warriors. Water conservationists are well-studied in the fields of biology, chemistry, higher math and public affairs.

Water conservationists are sometimes found in the heart of the non-profit water conservation world, spreading the word and fighting for change, while others are found in science labs and universities. These scientists also often work in the field of natural resource management and agribusiness, advising local and regional municipal works departments on the best ways to maximize water utilities.

Hydrologist

Hydrology is the comprehensive study of Earth’s water systems; how water exists and moves in its natural state as well as how it is affected by the human population. Hydrologists have advanced study in the sciences, including geology, ecology and physics.

Hydrologists are found in several different industries and government agencies, and often focus on ways to maximize water utility through a better understanding of its mechanics, flow patterns, origins and rates of replenishment.

Ecologist

Similar to a hydrologist, an ecologist studies the natural systems of Earth, only with a broader focus that encompasses the entire environment. Ecologists study similar things as hydrologists as well as biology, microbiology and botany.

Ecologists may work for non-profits, in industry or with the government to measure and evaluate the impact of humans on natural systems and vice-versa. The contributions to water conservation may be seen in how they influence decisions that are made about water policy, or by advising companies on how to lower their ecological footprint.

Irrigation Specialist

Irrigation for agricultural purposes constitutes the largest use of freshwater in the world, making irrigation specialists key players in the use and management of water resources. Their courses of study include geology, hydrology and physics.

Professionals in this field are largely found in the agricultural sector, although they can also be found in niche areas like turf management and habitat management. Irrigation specialists can decide what type of irrigation method is best by studying plants, soil, land topography and other factors.

Farmer

Some farmers are also irrigation specialists and others are “just” farmers, but both have a great deal of responsibility in how they manage their water use. Farmers study agricultural sciences, which include topics like botany, geology and meteorology.

Whereas these other careers more often place their practitioners in a position that calls for a desire for conservation, a farmer contributes to water conservation more by choice. Considering how much fresh water is used for agricultural farming and livestock care, it is a very powerful position for a conservationist.

Rememeber …

There are a wide array of careers that will allow you to contribute to water conservation, and it’s very likely you can make a personal contribution in your current job. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the most difference, and when the issue is saving water every little bit helps.

James Madeiros writes for Seametrics, a provider of water flow meter technology that helps farmers, manufacturers, and utility companies to measure and conserve water.

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