Cutting to the Chase
Today, bloggers, companies and environmental groups from around the world are banding together to raise awareness about the need for clean water. Of course, I am the odd one of the bunch because my blog focuses on green, environmental and infrastructure jobs. I know the Blog Action Day folks wanted me to write something about water pollution or scarcity but the fundamental question for me is “How do we solve the clean water issue if we do not have enough qualified professionals to do the job?
The Problem and Solution to the Issue of Clean Water is People
Water is our most precious resource because it is essential to all life. Yet in our daily lives, we unconsciously waste or pollute it on a regular basis. In 2009, The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that we (the United States) lose nearly 7 BILLION GALLONS of drinking water per day(Check it out here) through leakage from underground infrastructure, toilets and faucets. Further, our groundwater, oceans, rivers and streams are contaminated with billions of gallons of untreated wastewater on a daily basis from aged and corroded sewers. (Check it out). For some, the solving the clean water problem is a matter of making more investments; educating the public and enforcing hard caps on usage but these are only part of the solution. The real solution to the clean water problem is educating the public; making prudent investments and increasing the number of qualified water professionals to implement the infrastructure improvements.
You may be thinking “ You are just saying that because you recruit and place water professionals”. That is not totally true. With the “Baby Boomers” retiring in record numbers, the recession and the enormity of our country’s infrastructure problems, there will not be enough water professionals to meet the future demand. (Check out “The Crumbling of America”) The Baby Boomers occupy the majority of water related infrastructure jobs. Their absence and the declining enrollments engineering and science related degrees will hamper the efforts to fix the water infrastructure. Fixing our water infrastructure will save billions of gallons of water and create thousands of long term well paying jobs.
The Challenge: What You Can Do
In the hope to stir people into action, I want to issue a challenge:
- Hold your government officials accountable for enforcing clean water regulations and maintaining water infrastructure
- Help educate the public on the importance of water conservation and ways to cut pollution
- Conserve water and encourage others to conserve water whenever possible
- Seek a career in the water industry if it is part of your career goals
- Encourage young people and career changers to seek careers in the water industry
- Believe you can make a difference