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Water jobs: Spotlight on a key development issue

By Antoine Remise12 May 2009

Women gather at a water pump in Nhanpfuine, Mozambique. Waning access to clean drinking water has led to an increasing demand for water experts among development organizations. Photo by: Eric Miller/World Bank

Water management issues have received increasing attention from governments, international institutions, nonprofits and the private sector around the world. It may be hard to follow the job market for water experts due to the variety of opportunities out there, but one thing is clear: There’s a need for development professionals with expertise in everything from sanitation to agriculture and international law to lobbying.

“One of the main challenges is that water is not a sector. It’s a huge area,” said Johan Kuylenstierna, chief technical advisor to the Chair of UN-Water. “You have water as part of agriculture, water as part of ecosystem management, water as part of industrial development.”

Indeed, the management of water resources is highly complex. This complexity stands as a real issue while the world is facing a growing water crisis. According to the World Water Council, more than one out of six people lack access to drinking water and more than two out of six lack adequate sanitation. There are regional imbalances between the usage and the availability of water resources. Because of population growth, industrialization and expanding urbanization, that situation is not likely to get better.

Coordination between the different sectors managing water is seen as imperative. But it is rarely a reality.

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About the author

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Antoine Remise

Antoine joined Devex as a fellow and now serves as our international development correspondent based in Paris. He holds a bachelor's in political science from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Lille and a master's in development administration and planning from the University College in London. Antoine has conducted researche for development projects in Chile, Senegal and Uganda, notably on education, health, local saving systems and housing issues. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish."


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