Water Resource Manager

As a water scarce country that experiences high variability in rainfall, both geographically and seasonally, water is a premium resource in South Africa. Sufficient availability and access to quality water is exacerbated by climate change, and resultant droughts and floods, with many parts of South Africa experiencing severe ecological, economic and livelihood impacts. Effective water resource management can help plan, develop and manage strategies for the optimum use of water resources.

Water resource managers design and implement water resource programs and strategies, related for example to ecological infrastructure and provision such as supply, quality and regulatory compliance. They conduct investigations around water storage, wastewater discharge, compliance and regulatory challenges and identify specific sources of water pollution. They also assess the implications of proposed water resource schemes and drought management measures. They develop strategies to address water supply, conservation and ecosystem management, and regulatory compliance according water standards and laws.

Water resource managers consult with water quality analysts, engineers and other professionals to develop water resource protection plans. They work in an office environment and occasionally go into the field to collect specific data or make observations.

Skills

Water resource managers must have a solid understanding of hydrological processes and water quality standards and experience in implementing water programmes, coupled with:

  • Critical problem-solving and analytical thinking ability
  • Strong understanding of water compliance and regulatory legislation
  • Experience in modelling and mapping hydrological data
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills

Tasks

Oversee investigations of water quality, storage and compliance

Create and implement water monitoring and assessment methods

Develop strategies and opportunities for water resource improvements

Advise on the development or implementation of water programmes

Studies

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Hydrology at NWU, UKZN, Univen and Unizulu

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 Resource Management at UP

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

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Catchment management and other local water management agencies.

Water utility companies.

Private consultancies.

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