Work for Water

Great Careers for a Great Cause


Water Resources Planner

In May 2008, urban and regional planners had average yearly wages of $62,400.

Water resource planners help water sector agencies meet the water needs of its population and its economy. When the agency needs to increase the water supply, these specialists ask such questions as: Should we dig a new well into an underground aquifer? Dam a river to create a water supply reservoir? Buy from neighboring regions? Treat sea water to remove the salt in a process called desalination? Many of these options require years of planning, permitting, buying land, and construction. Thus, water needs must be planned for years in advance. The water resource planner:

  • undertakes complex planning, data gathering, and research assignments;
  • interprets data about projected water delivery, use and storage, conservation, and population trends;
  • investigates existing long-term water supplies and alternatives, such as conservation programs and transfer agreements; and
  • prepares detailed reports and presentations.

Education: Four-year or graduate degree in environmental or civil engineering, urban planning, public policy, public administration, economics physical or natural sciences — with special training or experience in natural resource management and water issues
Certificates, licenses: No
Entry-level opportunities: Yes, with above education
Desirable traits and skills: Good math, computer, written, and communication skills; comfortable with technology and financial/economic statistics

For more information:
American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314