What’s Behind the Decline in the Water Utility Workforce?

14 Nov 2023  |  Episode #82  |  with Eric Bindler

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators is projected to decline 6% from 2022 to 2032. This news shines the spotlight on a critical infrastructure sector that faces mounting challenges, from aging infrastructure assets to emerging contaminants (i.e., PFAS). As water and wastewater treatment plants become more advanced with automated systems to manage treatment processes, fewer workers may be needed.

In today’s episode, Reese Tisdale is joined by Senior Research Director Eric Bindler, who notes that while some work can be automated, plants will still need skilled workers to operate increasingly complex controls and water and wastewater systems. The overall water industry BLS data shows pretty steady growth of around 1.5% for the past decade a half.

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