Water Use Specialist

South Africa is a water scarce country with variable rainfall seasonally and geographically and 50% of the country’s water is produced in 8% of the land. 62% of water resources are used by agriculture, 3% by forestry and 27% by municipalities. South Africa’s water supply needs to be carefully managed to ensure effective ecosystem functioning, economic sustainability, growth and development and human health and wellbeing. Water use monitoring provides evidence to guide effective water resource use and management.

Water use specialists monitor, evaluate and audit water use programs or initiatives. They conduct water use surveys and collect and analyse water samples to determine changes in water supply and quality. They also develop and operate data and information management systems to enable effective water resource monitoring. Some report and advise on strategies to address water use challenges and opportunities as well as water regulation processes.

Water use specialists can engage with communities, land use planners, engineers and water professionals in monitoring water use practices. They spend time between the field, a laboratory and office analysing data and drafting feedback reports.

Skills

Water use specialists need a solid knowledge of hydrological processes and water use practices and a strong understanding of water compliance and regulatory legislation. They will also benefit from:

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving ability
  • Ability to carry out fieldwork and laboratory processes
  • Good project management competence
  • Good verbal and written communication and presentation skills

Tasks

Carry out water resource monitoring and evaluation

Operate and maintain supporting data, information and report management systems

Compile and present investigation feedback reports  

Advise stakeholders on authorisation, compliance and enforcement processes

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

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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