From public service to commercial applications, the water and wastewater industry will be hiring for upward of 700,000 construction jobs that will provide billions of dollars in personal income over the next several years. The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure was recently published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The report reflects what we see in wastewater construction recruiting, including building new infrastructure to meet the demands of increasing populations and expanding economic activity and repairing infrastructure that is already in place across the United States.
Major Water and Wastewater Construction Trends
Here are some key takeaways concerning these trends:
Overburdened and Aging Infrastructure
Since the water infrastructure across the United States is both overburdened and aging, the investment needs will continue to rise reaching $126 billion by 2020, and even $195 billion by 2040.
Industry experts and construction leadership are working together and dedicating more resources to the older cities where the drinking water infrastructure requires replacement to avoid future water disruptions.
The American Water Works Association has named this the Dawn of the Replacement Era and predicted investments to escalate over the next 30 years. Several generations of water pipes and mains will need to be replaced within the next couple of decades across the country.
Numerous construction careers will be available in regions with consistent increases in population and economic activity that require new water infrastructure. Construction recruiters in the Far West, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions are among the busiest in the US.
Experts are focusing more on innovative approaches to meet the growing demands of water delivery and wastewater treatment. The first trend involves separating potable and non-potable water by constructing separate lines for the two. There are also some municipalities moving toward the advanced treatment of wastewater so that it can be used for irrigation, thermoelectric cooling, and to resupply aquifers.
There is a growing demand to build more green infrastructure to catch wet weather runoff. This will lead to even more construction jobs for people to build green roofs, grassy swales, permeable pavement, and rain barrels.
The operations at coastal desalination plants in California and Florida are expected to increase, as water supply shortages become more prevalent around the US.
The practice of water hauling to solve deficiencies is being considered in some regions. In the past, this method was only used for severe droughts and natural disasters.
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