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Insights Why is water resources engineering important and how do you break into the field?

The world is confronted with a pressing need for sustainable solutions that safeguard our most precious resource: water. 

According to the World Wild Fund for nature, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages by 2025

From droughts and floods to rising sea levels, the challenges posed by climate change are more apparent than ever. 

It’s why Net Zero carbon by 2050 is a global deadline we can’t afford to miss. It’s why everyone at AtkinsRéalis is committed to making a difference by working together to deliver on this promise. 

Water resource engineers play a pivotal role. They are fortifying our water supply infrastructure, and preparing it to endure the strains of climate change and a growing global population.

If you’re an experienced water resources engineer looking for your next step up, skip ahead and explore our water resources engineering careers. There’s a range of exciting opportunities from Senior Water Resources Engineer jobs and Wastewater Engineer jobs to project management and water infrastructure roles. 

What is water resource engineering?

Water resource engineers ensure that water supply infrastructure is effective and able to withstand natural disasters caused by climate change, and an aging and growing population.

As a water resource engineer, you shoulder the important task of overseeing a community's water usage and guaranteeing the safety of water treatment for human consumption. 

Your daily routine can involve mapping out the water requirements of a locality and conducting regular assessments of water resources. 

You’ll play a pivotal role in devising treatment facilities, supply networks, pipelines, and pumping systems to efficiently handle wastewater for public and private consumption.

Why is water resources engineering important?

From designing resilient water treatment facilities to implementing cutting-edge technologies that promote water conservation and efficiency, water resource engineers are the architects of a secure water future.

With the planet experiencing climate shifts, the impact on water resources has been profound. 

Disrupted rainfall patterns, melting glaciers, and costly billion-dollar natural disasters have significantly altered the availability and quality of water, affecting everything from agriculture and industry to public health and the environment.

As we work to tackle the effects of climate change, it is imperative to recognize the need for proactive, innovative solutions that mitigate its impact on water resources. 

How to become a water resources engineer

If you're interested in becoming a water engineer, here are some key steps to follow to break into the field: 

Earn a Bachelor's Degree:

Consider a degree in a relevant subject such as Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering, preferably with a specialism in water resources, hydraulics, hydrology, and fluid mechanics.

Gain practical experience: 

Seek internships or junior positions with engineering firms, water utilities, or government agencies to acquire hands-on experience.

At AtkinsRéalis, a world-leading design, engineering and project management organization, you’ll work on a breadth of work on global projects.

Consider a Master's Degree: 

Opt for a Master's in Civil Engineering with a specialization in water resources to broaden your expertise and career opportunities.

Obtain professional licensure: 

In the US, to become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) you’ll need to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to earn Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or Engineer Intern (EI) status, followed by building 3 to 5 years of relevant work experience. 

Pass the PE exam: 

After gaining the necessary experience, take the Professional Engineering (PE) exam, showcasing your competence in water engineering principles and practices.

Attain a license: 

Apply for a Professional Engineer license from your state licensing board, enabling you to legally practice, endorse engineering documents, and assume higher responsibilities.

Commit to professional growth: 

Engage in continuous learning, attend industry conferences, join professional organizations such as the American Water Works Association, and tune in to leading industry talks like the AtkinsRéalis Built+Beyond podcast to stay abreast of advancements in the field. 

Follow our podcast and hear from experts on critical topics and innovative ideas from climate change and water resilience to water asset management to the water biosolids paradigm shift.

If you’re an ambitious graduate, who is keen to dig a little deeper into the role, read more about what water resource engineers do.

Redefine the future of water resource engineering with AtkinsRéalis

Are you driven by a passion to make a tangible difference in the world? AtkinsRéalis offers an unparalleled platform to contribute to cutting-edge projects that define the future of sustainable water resource management. 

Apply for careers in water resource engineering today. By joining our team you can help us engineer a future where resilience triumphs over uncertainty, and where sustainability is not just a goal but a reality. 

Join us at AtkinsRealis, and together, let's engineer a better future.