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Sustainable Water Infrastructure Contacts

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Green Collar Jobs in the Water Sector

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Professional Profiles

Plumber: green plumbers have the opportunity to help customers become more water and energy efficient through their training and knowledge of efficient technologies, appliances and fixtures, such as solar water heaters, grey water systems, and low-flow fixtures and appliances. 

Water auditor: provides on-site residential and commercial evaluation of water usage and recommends how to improve water efficiency.

Grey water systems installation: In order to avoid environmental and maintenance issues and to properly comply with indoor and outdoor plumbing regulations and permits, grey water systems should be installed by licensed professionals. Licensed professionals include plumbers, landscape designer, and irrigation specialists.  Many grey water training programs teach both the installation of indoor plumbing systems (e.g., non-potable uses such as toilet flushing), and outdoor grey water landscaping. 

Rainwater harvesting systems installation: with increasing pressure to conserve water supplies, catching and storing rainwater will become more commonplace.  Landscape designers, plumbers, and other engineers can become more competitive by learning how to install rainwater harvesting systems for residential and commercial applications.

Wastewater treatment plant operators: rising energy costs and increasing water scarcity in the face of climate change make decreasing a wastewater treatment plant’s carbon footprint and conserving water resources a high priority.  Many wastewater treatment facilities require high school diplomas for job placement in addition to special training certificates. Ongoing training is common, and can include courses in water and energy efficiency, energy management, and the use of renewables.

Building maintenance: Like green plumbers, those employed in building maintenance can green their profession by becoming trained in water and energy efficiency technologies, and their maintenance. 

Water meter installation and readers: water meters must be installed and used across California by 2025.  This mandate provides green job opportunities in water meter installation and on-going monitoring. Check your local water or utility company for job opportunities.

Renewable energy practitioners: A lot of water is embedded in the production of conventional energy. For example, each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of thermoelectric generation requires the withdrawal of approximately 25 gallons of water, primarily for cooling purposes. Less water is embedded in renewable sources such as solar, biogas, and wind. By installing and maintaining renewable energy systems, renewable energy practitioners save water.

Building/Construction Industry: As the construction industry confronts the importance of sustainable water management, they must become versed in Low Impact Development technologies such as permeable pavement, below-street infiltration structures, etc. 

Landscape industry: there is growing demand to use water more efficiently and to manage stormwater on-site through landscape design. As more municipalities pass sustainable stormwater and landscaping ordinances, the need for trained professionals in this sector will increase.  Knowledge of rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, native plants, xeriscaping, etc. is valuable for those in the landscaping industry.

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