A cumulative total of 44 billion pounds will reportedly be spent by water companies in England and Wales over a management period that spans over a five-year period up till 2020. It is expected that midway through this management period; several water companies would have enough capital to execute major projects.
Currently, the Severn Trent Water’s and Birmingham’s Resilience project are amongst the major capital water project in the works in England. Similarly, flood defence projects are also in full effect across the country, with around 2.6 billion pounds budgeted for several projects aimed at fighting erosion and flood from 2015 to 2021.
To assume a senior position in the water industry, a Chartered status is usually required. This status can be gotten by holding a degree in civil engineering or engaging in a meaningful apprenticeship that can expose you to the necessary experience.
The profile of engineering technician route has been increased recently to make for a more accessible career progression, reckons Steve Feeley, the director of membership and recruitment at the Institution of Civil Engineers. He also adds that EngTech membership in the ICE alone has witnessed a 62% increase over the past few years, and he expects this growth to continue in the coming years.
The evolution of job roles
According to career organisation Prospects, asides from a good understating of the basic principles of engineering, problem-solving skills as well as a proactive approach are crucial for any engineer working in the water sector.
Also, great communication skills and a flexible approach are all important recipes for success to excel as an engineer in the water sector, not forgetting the willingness not to mind driving to sites and getting wet.
Digital skills will be quintessential especially with regards to managing a crucial and dangerous resource like water. Already, a lot of money has been budgeted to ensure that excess water stops getting into some areas and enough start reaching other regions. To attain this goal, smart engineering will be crucial to ensure that it is achieved with the least possible effort and cost.
What lies ahead
A range of unknown jobs will spring up in the water sector soon; this is according to Dean Lenton, a development manager at the ICE. Lenton reiterates that the manner in which equipment and resources are procured, and infrastructures are built will soon change for the better.
This well-anticipated change will be powered by smarter technology that will bring fresh solutions to several problems in the industry.
Several projects that aim to take water from where they are abundant to where they are most needed is already in full effect in the UK. One of which is the Fluvial flood defence project, in addition to several other coastal projects.
There are also a series of changes that can be made in the entire sector, including public and private sector collaborations that can see water engineers earn more than three times the typical annual salary of £20,000.