Water Control Officer

South Africa is generally an arid country with variable rainfall and is prone to droughts. Its freshwater is supplied by 22 water source areas situated in the highest lying plains of our water catchments, where the most rainfall is received. The availability of good quality freshwater is a basic right and critical for sustaining livelihoods, wellbeing and the economy. Water resource management is crucial to ensure enough quality freshwater.

Water control officers monitor and control water abstraction in catchment areas. They undertake the inspection of dams in accordance with legislation and assist with water registration, validation and issuing of water licenses. They can also record water metre readings and alert designated authorities on the misuse of water resources.

Water control officers work in teams, occasionally engaging with water quality analysts and engineers to ensure the sustainable use of water resources. They often travel to water supply areas such as dams and reservoirs, returning to an office environment to strategize water control procedures.


Water control officers require knowledge of water management and distribution systems and the legislation and regulations that govern water provision in South Africa. They will also benefit from:

  • Understanding the principles of monitoring and evaluation 
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong organisational ability 
  • Good verbal and written communication skills


Control and release the distribution of water

Record and monitor water balances and metre readings

Collect and keep records of hydrological data

Inspect and report on dam and reservoir infrastructure maintenance


B.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Science specialising in Water Science at NWU, RU, UJ, UMP, UP and Wits

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental and Water Science at UWC

M.Sc. in Water Management at UFS and UP

B.Sc. in Hydrology and Water Resources Management at CUT

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Water Science and Technology at TUT

Water control officers can also benefit from a General Certificate in Water Demand Management offered at Rand Water, accredited by the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority.


National, provincial and local government.

Water utility companies.

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