Careers for Clean Water
Professionals Who Bring Potable Water to Communities in Need

Clean water is essential to human health and development, yet hundreds of millions of people worldwide do not have access to a reliable clean water source. Learn how a career in public health – and even key non-health fields – can help you bring clean water to everyone.

Whether drinking, cooking, bathing, or maintaining food supplies and crops, water is a fundamental human need. It’s also something most people take for granted. The United Nations considers access to clean water a basic human right, yet millions continue to suffer without it. On the bright side, the UN estimates that 1.7 billion people worldwide have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990, and there’s enough fresh water on the planet to increase global access to a full 100 percent. The challenge, however, is connecting communities to these sources. This guide examines the clean water crisis, ways to increase access to safe water, and how you can take action through higher education and career choice.

Clean Water Fast Facts

783
million people do
not have access to clean water. Six to eight million people die due every year due
to the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
[Source: unwater.org]

By
2015, 1.8 billion
people will be living in
countries or regions with
absolute water scarcity, and
two-thirds of the world
population could be under
stress conditions. [Source:
United Nations
(unwater.org)
]

For
every $1 spent
on water and
sanitation, there is a $4
economic return.
[Source: World Health Organization]

The
average
distance that women
in Africa and Asia walk
to collect water is 3.7
miles. [Source: Blue Planet Network]

Diarrhea, which is
often associated with
unsafe drinking water, is
the fourth leading cause of
child death. [Source: water.org]

1,100
counties in the United
States will face higher risks of
water shortages by mid-century as
a result of global warming. More
than 400 of these counties will face
extremely high risks of water
shortages. [Source: National
Resources Defense Council
]

A
rise in global
average temperature of
2°C could cost US$70
to $100 billion per year between
2020 and 2050. Part of this
cost will be related to
water. [Source: unwater.org]

Why Safe Water Is an Issue

According to the United Nations, 884 million people have no access to safe drinking water. And the cost in human suffering is staggering. On average, 5,000 children die every day as a result of preventable water- and sanitation-related diseases. That’s more than one child every twenty seconds. It is further estimated that half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-related diseases.

The impact of clean water scarcity on the world’s economy is also tremendous. For example, according to water.org, women and children around the globe spend 140 million hours each day simply collecting water, often from distant, polluted sources.

The bottom line? The most effective way to improve human life on earth is to make clean water accessible to everyone.

Map
The lowest levels of drinking water coverage are in sub-Saharian Africa Map Detail
Map
There are 46 countries where less than half the population has access to an improved sanitation facility Map Detail

Increasing Access to Clean Water

There are many ways, both big and small, that people can help make access to clean water happen. Many involve tried and true means of extracting or diverting existing water sources as well as developing new and innovative water resource management systems. Others are concerned with methods of conservation that make more water available to those who need it. The following is a list of some of the action-oriented strategies that people can employ to help:

  • Increasing access points to clean water

    One of the best methods of supplying safe water is through the installation of community wells. Community wells provide access to clean water that reduces the need for women and children to expend the tremendous time and effort in collecting and transporting water from distant sources to where it is needed.

  • Increase awareness

    Education is a necessary element in bringing about real change in regard to clean water issues. Education motivates new behaviors and inspires innovation. And education can be done on both the nationwide and individual levels.

  • Fix leaks

    Leaky pipes and faucets accounts for a tremendous amount of water loss in both developed and developing nations. Some estimates put loss of water due to leaks at as much as ten gallons per person, per day. Fixing leaks is a simple, direct way for individuals to help relieve the growing global water crisis.

  • Promoting good hygiene

    By teaching and promoting good hygiene practices in communities and schools, people learn to protect themselves from developing many of the illnesses and diseases that come from unsanitary conditions and spread through water.

  • Providing sanitary facilities

    Providing sanitary facilities for eliminating human waste helps to eliminate unsafe practices such as open defecation, which results in contaminated water supplies.

  • Rainwater harvesting

    Rainwater harvesting is a simple and effective way to collect water. Concerns exist regarding the contamination of rainwater by air pollution and acid rain, particularly in urban areas. Nevertheless, untreated rainwater can still be put to nonpotable uses while treated rainwater may be used for drinking purposes.

  • Recycling

    Clean water strategies are not for developing countries only. Many are just as important to developed nations. Recycling is a good example. An estimated five percent of water usage in the United States goes to powering industries creating consumables. Recycling, therefore, plays a significant role in reducing the demand for new products and, in turn, the use of water in the manufacturing process.

  • Research & Development

    Investment by individuals, corporations and nations alike in developing new methods of sanitation, water resourcing and energy efficiency is essential. For example, desalination of salt-water has, to date, been an energy-intensive process for providing clean water. Financial resources are now being employed to develop solar-powered desalination plants. A breakthrough there could be game-changing.

  • Restoring clean water after emergencies

    The risk of the spread of unsafe water-related illnesses and diseases increases tremendously during and immediately following emergency events. Relief organizations such as UNICEF alleviate emergency-caused water issues by providing hygiene kits in stricken communities.

Take Action: College Degrees That Make a Difference

The road to a successful career in practically any field starts with a quality and relevant education. That holds true for anyone interested in working on clean water issues, with most paths leading through a college’s or university’s department of public health. However, that path may also run through environmental science or engineering departments. Degrees in public health can prepare graduates for jobs, public and private alike, in the clean water industry. There are also numerous non-degree and certificate programs that relate to the public health profession and specifically to clean water jobs. Exactly what degree level a student must obtain depends on his or her unique interests and career goals.

Here is a brief look at the various types of public health college degrees, as well as several specializations and concentrations, and the types of potential careers in the clean water field related to each:

  • Associate of Science or Applied Science in Water Technology

    The variety of clean water-related associate degrees is limited, primarily to water technology-focused programs, but they can be found on a surprisingly large number of vocational school and community college campuses. There are also a small number of online options for this degree, although the vast majority require relatively substantial in-lab and in-field components. Internships with local water companies or public works are may also be required.

    Clean water associate degrees are most often titled with the term “Water Technology” but titles such as “Wastewater Management” and “Water Quality Management” are also used. Curricula in A.S. or A.A.S. in water technology programs center around two general topics: wastewater sanitation and clean water distribution. Course subjects include microbiology, wastewater collections systems, water regulations, and others. Most degrees in this category prepare graduates to meet state and local licensing requirements.

  • Associate of Applied Science in Water Conservation Technology

    Another clean water choice on the two-year degree level is the A.A.S. in Water Conservation Technology. This degree may also come with an alternative title such as “Water Quality Technology”. Additionally, specific degrees may include some amount of subject crossover from program to program, so students should always closely examine a specific program’s focus and curriculum to be sure that they will be learning the area of the clean water field they are actually interested in.

    Degrees in this category focus on subjects that include environmental protection and sustainability, water purification, evaluation of water usage patterns and efficiency techniques, water reclamation, alternative water sources and more. Graduates with this degree go on to jobs in the public, private and governmental sectors where they will design, market and evaluate water conservation programs, evaluate water usage patterns and recommend efficiency measures and alternative water sources, among other tasks.

  • Bachelor of Public Health

    The Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) is a relatively new degree designation for most colleges and universities. It is typically offered through a school’s department of public health. At schools without a separate public health department, the corresponding degree designation is typically the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and is commonly offered through the school’s department of health sciences or environmental sciences. Degree titles often crossover, also, and clean-water specializations or concentrations may additionally be offered as part of a BA in Public Health degree program.

    Related online degree programs can be found but normally require some level of on-campus participation. A sample of clean water-related courses offered in BPH and BSPH curricula include Health and Environmental Risk Assessment, Emerging Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health, and Addressing Complex Global Health Challenges.

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health

    A common option for students interested in water conservation and clean water issues is the BS in Environmental Health or Environmental Science. These degrees may or may not be offered through a school’s department of public health, or environmental health and public health degrees may be located in the same department. Whatever the case, clean water-related specialties and concentrations are often offered as options to degree programs with both the “Public Health” and “Environmental Health” titles. And to take it one step further, some degrees come with the “Environmental Public Health” designation.

    Environmental health bachelor’s degrees specializing in water issues typically require a four-year study commitment and almost always include in-lab and in-field components, as well as internships. Water-related course titles include: Water Pollution Control and Treatment; Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement; Drinking Water and Health; and Biophysical Ecology.

  • Master of Public Health

    As is the case with most other academic subjects, specialization becomes more common on the graduate degree level. The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a good example. The MPH serves as an “umbrella” degree designation that encompasses a range of specializations, many of which involve clean water in some form or aspect. (See the list of specialties and concentrations below.)

    As you might expect by now, there can be a great deal of subject-specific overlap between degree titles. In this area in particular, there is often confusion between the MPH degree and the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree. The differences between the two vary by school, but generally speaking the MPH is distinguished from the MSPH in that it is a more scientific and researched-based degree, while the MPH is more focused on applied science and social concerns.

    Students should expect to spend two to two-and-a-half years pursuing their MPH degree, depending on the specific program and student’s own personal life commitments. Online degree programs are available with most, but not all, requiring some period of in-person residency.

  • Master of Science in Public Health

    As mentioned briefly above, the MSPH acts as an alternative to the MPH for those students interested in the more scientific and data-driven aspects of the field generally and clean water issues specifically. While the academic focus of the degree may differ from the MPH, the specializations and concentrations often crossover. The MSPH is also similar to the MPH in that both degrees, more often than not, are offered through a college or university’s public health school or department. The two degrees differ in many ways also. One difference is that online MSPH programs are significantly fewer in number compared to online MPH programs.

  • Doctor of Public Health

    The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree, the terminal degree in the field, is designed primarily for mid-career public health professionals who are interested in expanding their knowledge and practice in public health and moving up into leadership positions. DrPH candidates develop skills necessary to lead in practice-based research, effect change in current public health policy and institutions, and take on leading roles in the local, national and international public health community. For the most part, the DrPH degree is not for those interested in careers in academia or research.

    DrPH programs commonly offer a variety of concentrations for candidates, including those that encompass clean water issues. There is a developing trend, however, toward school wide, interdisciplinary DrPH programs that allow candidates pursue their unique interests within the public health field. Graduate school departments that often sponsor DrPH programs with clean water components include Environmental Health, Epidemiology and International Health.

In-Depth: Public Health Concentrations and Careers

With only a few degree choices explicitly titled for those interested in clean water as a study subject or career, finding the right public health specialization or concentration is particularly important. Below are some of the most common specializations related to clean water and the public health careers they can lead to:

Global Environmental Health

Global environmental health, as a degree specialization and as a real concern, deals with much more than clean water. It encompasses almost all aspects of human/environment interaction. Unimproved water and sanitation, along with air and soil pollution, however, are among the primary contributors to global human disease, a growing and long-term problem. Water-related areas of study include water-borne diseases, and the design, implementation and evaluation of global water, sanitation and hygiene programs.

Environmental Health Specialist

These specialists work in a variety of settings and organizations to study or educate populations on environmental impacts to health and wellness. They sometimes identify and eliminate pollutants or hazards that affect populations.

Hydrologist

Hydrologists research the distribution, circulation and properties of both underground and surface waters. They study the effects of different types of water on public health. In countries facing water shortages, hydrologists are able to develop alternative water plans to ensure communities have access to clean and ample water supplies.

Environmental Health Science

Closely linked to global environmental health is the environmental health science specialization. Here, the word “environment” concerns how the environment influences human health and disease, as well as how human activity affects natural resources. Environmental health science involves a variety of scientific clean water-related subjects such as water pollution, microbiology, epidemiology, hydrology and more. Professionals in this area are involved in research, environmental cleanup, education and outreach, among others.

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists manage and protect natural resources like water to ensure sufficient amounts are available for use without damage to the environment. They may develop plans to reduce soil erosion and protect surrounding areas while developing more water lines.

Water Quality Specialist

Water quality specialists study how water quality effects human health by looking at both ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands, and human-made systems like wastewater plants, drinking water supplies and hydroelectric power plants. Water quality specialists are employed by national, state and municipal governmental agencies, as well is private engineering and hydrology consulting firms. Work often focuses on ecosystem development, pollution prevention and sustainable development.

Environmental Quality and Health

Another specialization focused on how the environment impacts humans and how humans impact the environment. This specialization focuses on the environment in its natural state and the three principal topics of air quality, water quality, and sustainability. Specific water-related subjects include water quality and treatment, environmental chemistry, risk assessment, environmental regulations and consumer protection.

Environmental Health Specialist

These specialists work in a variety of settings and organizations to study or educate populations on environmental impacts to health and wellness. They sometimes identify and eliminate pollutants or hazards that affect populations.

Water Quality Specialist

Water quality specialists study how water quality effects human health by looking at both ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands, and human-made systems like wastewater plants, drinking water supplies and hydroelectric power plants. Water quality specialists are employed by national, state and municipal governmental agencies, as well is private engineering and hydrology consulting firms. Work often focuses on ecosystem development, pollution prevention and sustainable development.

Occupational & Environmental Health

The occupational and environmental health specialization is distinguished from others in the public health field in that it focuses on the protection of the health of workers and the assessment and abatement of hazards to air, water and waste materials, primarily in the workplace. These graduates are qualified to take on clean water-related positions involving water pollution and hazardous waste management, as well as economic, regulatory and sociopolitical issues.

Hazardous Waste Inspector

Waste inspectors investigate hazardous and prohibited waste, ensuring that such waste is disposed of properly and is not dispersed into environments where it can cause harm to humans or animals. Waste inspectors can stop a hazardous organism from spreading, particularly in countries with outdated sanitation procedures.

Occupational Health and Safety Consultant

Occupational health and safety consultants analyze different types of work environments and procedures, and inspect workplaces to ensure adherence to regulations concerning health, safety and the environment. They also design and implement systems to help prevent occupational injury and disease.

Global Environmental Sustainability & Health

The term “global environmental sustainability” in regard to degree specialization often refers to sustainability in urban areas, particularly in developing countries, and how knowledge and innovation can reduce the human ecological footprint in those areas. Sustainability of water resources, along with energy, is the primary focus of this specialization, specifically water supply management, treatment and delivery, as well as water reuse and recovery.

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists manage and protect natural resources like water to ensure sufficient amounts are available for use without damage to the environment. They may develop plans to reduce soil erosion and protect surrounding areas while developing more water lines.

Sustainability Analyst/Consultant

Sustainability analysts or consultants work for private companies and public entities in executing global sustainability strategies to balance societal and environmental concerns with the organization’s financial responsibilities. A sustainability analyst’s duties may include developing, auditing and complying with an organization’s environmental management system and collecting data related to sustainability measures.

International Public Health

The international public health specialization combines social and life science studies with medical and biological science courses to allow students to think critically and analytically in addressing major healthcare issues around the world. Among the goals of this specialization is to foster a solid global perspective on issues of water and public health.

Environmental Health Specialist

These specialists work in a variety of settings and organizations to study or educate populations on environmental impacts to health and wellness. They sometimes identify and eliminate pollutants or hazards that affect populations.

Occupational Health and Safety Consultant

Occupational health and safety consultants analyze different types of work environments and procedures, and inspect workplaces to ensure adherence to regulations concerning health, safety and the environment. They also design and implement systems to help prevent occupational injury and disease.

Community Health

The community health (or community health sciences) specialization focuses on disease prevention and health promotion by utilizing community-based methods. Students gain the knowledge and skills to implement community health programs and employ behavioral change to facilitate healthier lifestyles, prevention strategies, and to incorporate cultural competencies in diverse community settings, including how community members interact with their water resources.

Environmental Health Specialist

These specialists work in a variety of settings and organizations to study or educate populations on environmental impacts to health and wellness. They sometimes identify and eliminate pollutants or hazards that affect populations.

Health Inspector

Health inspectors work primarily for state and local governmental agencies to ensure that businesses and other community organizations are complying with health and safety regulations in a number of areas including those regarding water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and recreation.

Epidemiology/Global Health Epidemiology

Epidemiology, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the “study of the distribution and detriments of health problems in specified populations and the application of this study to control health problems.” Not surprisingly then, epidemiology plays a significant role in issues relating to clean water and sanitation. The epidemiology and global health epidemiology specializations prepare students to work as epidemiologists both domestically and abroad on health issues like water-borne diseases.

Field Epidemiologist

Field epidemiologists are employed primarily by government agencies and health departments. They are dispatched to trouble spots throughout the nation and around the world to investigate disease outbreaks. Field epidemiologists specializing in water-related diseases work in a variety of areas such as environmental health, oral health, and infectious and chronic diseases.

Hazardous Waste Inspector

Waste inspectors investigate hazardous and prohibited waste, ensuring that such waste is disposed of properly and is not dispersed into environments where it can cause harm to humans or animals. Waste inspectors can stop a hazardous organism from spreading, particularly in countries with outdated sanitation procedures.

Water, Health and Sustainability

Typically offered as a PH graduate certificate rather than a concentration area, this program is intended for public health professionals and others with an interest in addressing critical shortages and health problems associated with inadequate and unsanitary water throughout the world.

Occupational Health and Safety Consultant

Occupational health and safety consultants analyze different types of work environments and procedures, and inspect workplaces to ensure adherence to regulations concerning health, safety and the environment. They also design and implement systems to help prevent occupational injury and disease.

Water Quality Specialist

Water quality specialists study how water quality effects human health by looking at both ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands, and human-made systems like wastewater plants, drinking water supplies and hydroelectric power plants. Water quality specialists are employed by national, state and municipal governmental agencies, as well is private engineering and hydrology consulting firms. Work often focuses on ecosystem development, pollution prevention and sustainable development.

Environmental Health Specialist

These specialists work in a variety of settings and organizations to study or educate populations on environmental impacts to health and wellness. They sometimes identify and eliminate pollutants or hazards that affect populations.

Hydrologist

Hydrologists research the distribution, circulation and properties of both underground and surface waters. They study the effects of different types of water on public health. In countries facing water shortages, hydrologists are able to develop alternative water plans to ensure communities have access to clean and ample water supplies.

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists manage and protect natural resources like water to ensure sufficient amounts are available for use without damage to the environment. They may develop plans to reduce soil erosion and protect surrounding areas while developing more water lines.

Water Quality Specialist

Water quality specialists study how water quality effects human health by looking at both ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands, and human-made systems like wastewater plants, drinking water supplies and hydroelectric power plants. Water quality specialists are employed by national, state and municipal governmental agencies, as well is private engineering and hydrology consulting firms. Work often focuses on ecosystem development, pollution prevention and sustainable development.

Hazardous Waste Inspector

Waste inspectors investigate hazardous and prohibited waste, ensuring that such waste is disposed of properly and is not dispersed into environments where it can cause harm to humans or animals. Waste inspectors can stop a hazardous organism from spreading, particularly in countries with outdated sanitation procedures.

Occupational Health and Safety Consultant

Occupational health and safety consultants analyze different types of work environments and procedures, and inspect workplaces to ensure adherence to regulations concerning health, safety and the environment. They also design and implement systems to help prevent occupational injury and disease.

Sustainability Analyst/Consultant

Sustainability analysts or consultants work for private companies and public entities in executing global sustainability strategies to balance societal and environmental concerns with the organization’s financial responsibilities. A sustainability analyst’s duties may include developing, auditing and complying with an organization’s environmental management system and collecting data related to sustainability measures.

Health Inspector

Health inspectors work primarily for state and local governmental agencies to ensure that businesses and other community organizations are complying with health and safety regulations in a number of areas including those regarding water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and recreation.

Field Epidemiologist

Field epidemiologists are employed primarily by government agencies and health departments. They are dispatched to trouble spots throughout the nation and around the world to investigate disease outbreaks. Field epidemiologists specializing in water-related diseases work in a variety of areas such as environmental health, oral health, and infectious and chronic diseases.

Alternate Clean Water Degree & Career Paths

Public health may be the most obvious career path in helping improve access to clean water, but it’s not the only one. Here are some alternative career fields where professionals can make a meaningful difference.

Communications
Journalist

Journalists are responsible for finding newsworthy information and stories and presenting them to the world. They can use their positions as global communicators to help developing countries and underserved communities get things they need, like clean water, by bringing the problem out of the shadows and into the public eye.

Advertising Copywriter

Advertising is no longer limited to placing products in front of consumers. Activism advertising brings issues and ideas, rather than goods, to the public’s attention. Advertising copywriters can craft powerful messages in a few words to convince the public to support a variety of worthy causes, including clean water.

Public Service
Lawyer

Lawyers use their legal knowledge to help people in a variety of ways. They can help communities get clean water by working with them to enact policies that make clean water accessible. Lawyers can also engage in proactive lawsuits against those who violate a community’s right or ability to access clean water.

Social Worker

Social workers often work with individuals and communities to help them improve their social, physical and mental health. Social workers can help communities gain access to clean water by bringing people together, helping them understand the steps needed to enact change and serving as liaisons between communities and organizations that can provide clean water access.

Engineering/Construction
Civil Engineer

By designing and developing water infrastructure that meets the needs of underserved communities or people in developing countries, civil engineers can directly increase access to clean drinking water – whether through building reservoirs and wells from locally-available materials or ensuring a neighborhood’s pipes are lead-free.

General Contractor

General contractors oversee construction projects. They put together teams that carry out all aspects of the construction process, from land surveying to actual building. Like civil engineers, they can use their planning skills to create affordable clean water infrastructure that meets a community’s needs and can be easily maintained.

Scholarships Focused on Clean Water

ACWA Scholarships

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) awards two $3,500 scholarships each spring to qualified students enrolled in a water resources-related field degree program. Eligible candidates must be California residents attending a four-year, publically-funded college or university in California as a junior or senior at the time of the award.

Clair A. Hill Scholarship

The Clair A. Hill Scholarship awards one $5,000 scholarship annually to a student in a water resources-related field of study. To be eligible, a student must be a California resident attending a California college or university full-time as a junior or senior beginning the fall semester after they are awarded the scholarship. Sponsored by the ACWA.

Connecticut Water Works Association Scholarship

The Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) awards at least two scholarships ($1,000 and $500) each year to high school seniors graduating with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a Connecticut school. Preference is given to applicants who are actively pursuing an approved course of study at an accredited higher education institute directly related to environmental science, water resources, public health or the water industry.

Crowder Construction Company Scholarship Fund Scholarship

Sponsored by the North Carolina American Water Works Association and the North Carolina Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA), this $1,000 annual scholarship is awarded to a full-time student with a desire to pursue a career in construction with a degree in a related field such as construction management, construction science, construction safety, engineering or architecture. A candidate must be both a U.S. citizen and North Carolina resident.

Louisiana Water Environment Association Scholarship

The Louisiana Water Environment Association (LWEA) Scholarship program awards three $1,500 scholarships annually to individuals in pursuit of a degree that leads to a career in the environmental field. To qualify, a student must be a full-time student and resident of Louisiana majoring in an environmental-related curriculum in engineering, physical or natural science or public health, and be at least a Junior and no higher than a Master’s-level candidate during the year of the award.

NC Safewater Fund Scholarship

Also sponsored by the NC AWWA-WEA, this program awards one $2,000 scholarship annually to a student pursuing a degree in a curriculum that emphasizes the protection of public health by providing healthful drinking water and/or protecting the quality and integrity of the water environment. Students must be enrolled in a higher education institution located in North Carolina and maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Preference is given to members of a NC AWWA-WEA student chapter.

Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship

At least one $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually through this program to a full-time student working toward his or her first undergraduate degree and who is enrolled in a program related to water resources. Additionally, at least one $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time graduate student enrolled in a water resources-related program. Sponsored by the American Waters Resources Association (AWRA).

Rotary Foundation Global Scholarship Grants for Development

The Rotary Foundation sponsors these grants to be used to fund scholarships in varying amounts with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus including disease prevention and treatment, and water and sanitation. The scholarships fund graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years.

After Graduation: Potential Employers

Earning a degree in public health or other clean water-related major is a big step toward a successful career, but there’s still that task of finding the right job. Below is a list of some of the biggest employers of new PH graduates seeking employment in the clean water field:

Private Sector

American Water

American Water is a public utility company operating in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Voorhees, New Jersey, American Water owns subsidiaries that manage municipal drinking water and wastewater systems, among other ventures.

Coca-Cola

That’s right, Coca-Cola. The world’s largest beverage company is deeply involved in global water stewardship. Coca-Cola and its bottlers have spent approximately $2 billion on water conservation since 2003.

Dow Water and Process Solutions

A division of Dow Chemical, Dow Water and Process Solutions is one of the largest developers and manufacturers of water purification and separation technologies in the world.

GE Water & Process Technologies

A division of General Electric Power & Water, GE Water & Process Technologies manufactures and sells chemical and equipment solutions and services to industries and municipalities for management of water resources and processes.

ITT Corporation

Headquartered in the United States, ITT Corporation is a leading manufacturer of specialty components for the energy, transportation and industrial markets. It is also a major supplier of wastewater management systems worldwide.

Public Sector

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services whose main goal is the protection of public health and safety by the control and prevention of disease, injury and disability.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Another agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH is the “nation’s medical agency” and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

An agency of the federal government, the EPA’s stated mission is to “protect human health and the environment.” It does so by writing and enforcing regulations passed by Congress. The EPA is headquartered in Washington D.C. and maintains 10 regional offices and 27 laboratories.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Yet another agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is responsible for protecting public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of drugs, biological products, the nation’s food supply and other products and devices.

U.S. Forest Service

Part of the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico, and works with others to protect and manage non-public forest and associated range and watershed lands.

Non-Profits

charity: water

Headquartered in New York City, charity: water’s mission is to “bring clean safe drinking water to people in developing nations.”

UNICEF

An agency of the United Nations and headquartered in New York City, UNICEF’s mission is to promote the rights and wellbeing of children throughout the world. One of the United Nation’s and UNICEF’s Millennium Development Goals is to reduce by half the proportion of people in the world without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Water.org

Water.org is a non-profit located in Kansas City, Missouri providing aid to developing countries without access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is another specialized agency of the United Nations that focuses on international public health. The WHO currently employs more than 7000 people working in 150 countries around the world.

World Wildlife Federation (WWF)

The WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment by focusing on biodiversity and our ecological footprint. Through watershed stewardships, the WWF works with governments and businesses to better manage water resources.

Resources for Clean Water Activism

More Information

Getting Involved

Trustworthy Sources for Donations