become a water resource specialist

What does a Water Resource Specialist do?

A water resource specialist is an expert in water supply, quality, and the regulations that are set to ensure quality and supply needs are met. These experts may have various job titles such as hydrogeologists or water resources engineers. They may also be tasked to consult with others on water conservation and water quality issues and help develop plans to protect the water resource.

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How to Become a Water Resource Specialist

To get your foot in the door as a water resource specialist, you would need a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in water engineering or hydrology. Hydrology is the study of water and you would learn how water is distributed, it’s properties, and the relationship with the environment. According to O*Net Online, over 40% of those surveyed also held a master’s degree.

Knowledge in the following subjects is also important:

  • Engineering and Technology to include applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics to include algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics.
  • Design to include techniques, tools, and principles involved in the production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English to include composition and grammar.
  • Physics to include physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and subatomic structures and processes.

If you have yet to graduate high school, taking courses in math and science are the most beneficial as this will prepare you for college-level science and math courses. The U.S. Geological Survey also has a website called the USGS Water School (link opens in a new window) which provides additional information about careers in hydrology.

Job Description of a Water Resource Specialist

water resource specialist

A water resource specialist would often check the quality of a water source in a man-made or natural environment, investigate potential issues, and craft a plan to clean the water if able. Their job also involves consulting on issues such as water storage and how to dispose of wastewater properly without contaminating the environment.

Water resource specialists may also be involved in conservation efforts and help develop plans to protect, clean, or use a water source in a sustainable manner. They must also be knowledgable on any state, federal, or local water laws and regulations.

Water Resource Specialist Career Video Transcript

We count on water resource specialists to make sure our water supply is clean, safe, and accessible so we can sustain ourselves and our daily activities. It may surprise you to learn about the complexity of our water supply regulation. Water resource specialists are called in to investigate many different situations. For example, if wastewater discharge appears to violate health and safety standards or proper permits are not in order or where water storage practices are called into question, these specialists are often needed.

To identify the source of the problem, they use mathematical equations that predict pollution levels in water and anticipate the behavior of sewer and storm systems. They may also create visual models to represent these results. Water resource specialists also monitor water supply sources to meet conservation goals so there will be a robust water supply in the future. A bachelor’s degree or higher in water resources engineering or a related field is the typical entry requirement. A background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a plus.

Article Citations

National Center for O*NET Development. 11-9121.02. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.