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E-Splash November 2012 - Directors Report
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - November 2012


Kyla Jacobsen
AWWA  Director

Holy cow! This was a particularly rough summer. Not enough water in the river to treat and that which WAS there created treatment challenges. But, the water professionals at our water plant were poised to attack the issue head on and make the "best quality water, at a reasonable price, delivered directly to the spigots of our citizens”.

Who are these "water professionals”? Well, if you work in the water profession, YOU are a WATER PROFESSIONAL. If you are reading this article, you most likely are one of those WATER PROFESSIONALS. Webster Dictionary gives the definition of PROFESSIONAL as: of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession.

Many people think of the word "professional” as someone who wears a suit, sits in a corner office and has reached a certain station in life (or someone who thinks they have). Well, I sometimes wear a suit, I sit in a corner office, I don't think that I have reached any station in my life, and I rarely act professional; but I can tell you that all the staff here at my water treatment plant are water professionals in the same vain that I am. It's about the passion and professionalism that you bring to your job that makes you a WATER PROFESSIONAL. I want everyone (management, union, public sector, private sector, manufacturers, consultants, etc.) to know that we are all WATER PROFESSIONALS.

And what a great profession to get passionate about -WATER. It's the best job in the world. There are many opportunities in the water industry. The water sector has a wide range of rewarding job opportunities fitting a broad range of skills. General areas include engineer; organizational services; communications; policy and education; instrumentation; laboratory and science; operations; maintenance; trades; and environmental. The industry has something for everyone at every level. Many of the careers in the water industry allow you to begin at an entry level without a college degree, for those who may not think that they are college material. Work in our field is extremely stable. There is always going to be a need for safe water; and, therefore, there will always be a need for qualified and experienced water professionals.

Jobs in the water industry will never be replaced by a computer. Computers will help make the work easier, more streamlined and sustainable, but never replace the human in the industry. The jobs are extremely portable. With the experience you gain as a water treatment professional in one place, you can take that experience with you and it is directly transferable to other locations, around the block or around the world.

There are many opportunities for advancement in the water industry. This profession brings out the best in people, making them want to learn more and advance. Many water professionals may have advanced through their organizations. There are always chances for advancement in the field, should you find yourself with the enthusiasm to move up in an organization or even into another branch of the industry.

You can choose a job in water that is inside a building. You can choose a job that is out in the field. You can choose a job that sits at a desk. You choose one that is very physical. The choices are endless.

I am extremely passionate about spreading the good news of advancing career opportunities in the water profession. I, like you, am a WATER PROFESSIONAL. Let's all work to engage the next generation of water professionals.


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