Growing Young Professionals in Water Management

Last week, young water professionals from all over Sri Lanka met for the country’s first-ever Sri Lankan Young Water Professional Symposium. At this gathering, young professionals aged 35 and under from all over the water industry came together to generate new and innovative ideas to meet the numerous water management challenges faced globally.

The event in Sri Lanka is one of many events that have focused recently on the importance of these young professionals to the water management industry. International Water Week, held every two years in Amsterdam, features a Young Water Professionals Programme and includes a Young Water Ambassador.

The International Water Association also has a global network for these young professionals to connect around the world to share new and creative ideas. The IWA recently brought these professionals together during the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in Busan, South Korea.

Water Management Growth

Why the focus, these days, on the young professionals in the water industry? The answer is as clear as clean tap water. Water management, water rights and water allocation will dominate much of the global political discussion in the coming years. The United Nations has already declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Many experts agree that access to safe drinking water, water services and the competing demands for water allocation will become paramount issues across the globe.

Attracting the smartest, brightest and most innovative professionals to the water industry now helps build capacity to address these issues in the future. These emerging leaders in the water industry need opportunities to develop their leadership capacity, their ability to work diplomatically and their ability to initiate change within complex water management systems.

At Western Canada Water, we also believe in nurturing the next generation of water professionals and applaud these efforts to build leadership capacity among young water professionals. And we know we need to build this capacity at home, too.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities projects that Canadian municipality water, wastewater, and solid waste facilities will require an investment of almost $40 billion dollars over the next 10 years alone. The next generation of water professionals in this country will be called upon to come up with innovative solutions to solve Canada’s water issues such as balancing the demands of agriculture and development and guarding against drought.

The water industry holds a lot of promise and opportunity for students just now entering college or graduating and who want to make a significant difference in how we manage the precious resource of water and who care about protecting the environment.

Looking toward the future of water management includes bringing the young professionals who will be that future into the conversation now. We’re excited to see the industry support these young professionals and encourage anyone interested in a career in water to visit our Careers page