Water treatment professionals are constantly solving a wide array of challenges; from changing source water quality and aging infrastructure to public education and funding. The good news is that more and more on-line resources are readily available to help you stay current – and are easily accessible from your laptop or smart phone.
Read on to see how to stay on top of industry challenges and trends this year.
According to AWWA’s 2016 State of the Water Industry (SOTWI) study, involving nearly 1,500 surveys completed by water treatment professionals across the country, the top 5 challenges currently facing the industry are:
- Renewal and replacement of aging water and wastewater infrastructure
- Financing for capital improvements
- Public understanding of the value of water systems and services
- Long-term water supply availability
- Public understanding of the value of water resources
It’s no secret that water treatment professionals have a broad range of challenges facing them today. To solve these issues, it requires a team with a diverse skillset and knowledge base.
The good news is, while the challenges may be growing in complexity, our approach to research and development, education and innovation is also changing drastically. Through the internet, we have nearly instant access to colleagues, mentors, researchers and experts from around the globe and an incredible amount of information at our fingertips. Technological development is happening faster than ever with “DIY innovators”, technology accelerator programs, and crowd-funding initiatives offering new ways to approach and solve problems.
Many professions require practitioners to complete a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) or professional development hours (PDHs) to ensure continual professional competency as the social, economic and technological environment changes. To truly stay ahead however, it’s important for companies, not only individuals and professional associations, to embrace a culture of continuous learning, prioritize continuing education for all, and encourage employees to gain knowledge in fields related to their specialty.
Here are the 5 best ways to stay on-top of what’s happening in your industry and learn new skills, right from your laptop or mobile device:
1. Industry Associations
Associations like AWWA, EWA, and IWA, offer a whole library of reference materials and resources as well as regular webinars with topics ranging from source water quality issues to the consequences of the 2016 election cycle. The EPA, and CWN also offer webinars and access to study reports with topics ranging from advancements in membrane processes to watershed governance.
2. Water accelerator programs
Checking out water technology accelerators, like WaterTap, ImagineH2O, and The Water Council’s Brew accelerator and pilot program is a great way to keep an eye on emerging technologies and industry trends. Check out some of their 2016 projects like Solar Water Works and OptiRTC.
3. MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses)
Platforms like EdX and Coursera offer both free and paid courses from leading universities around the world, including MIT, Berkeley, and TUDelft, to name a couple. Study everything from English and History to Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
With access to colleagues, mentors, and experts from around the globe, LinkedIn provides a way to quickly connect with other professionals in your field. Discussion groups, like this Water Treatment Industry Group allow you to post and read questions and answers, share your experiences, and learn from others. LinkedIn’s learning portal also offers a wide-range of courses on everything from leadership and management, to excel, data analysis, and sales and marketing.
5. LuminUltra Academy
LuminUltra is happy to announce that we also offer on-demand, online training for those interested in learning more about microbiological monitoring. Discover the various tools that are available to you, what you need in your microbial toolbox, and how ATP testing works. We’ll be adding advanced educational material regularly and scheduled webinars so be sure to sign up for LuminUltra Academy to stay up-to-date on the latest course offerings.
This program will be available to everyone beginning February 1, 2017, however, we’re offering early access for LuminUltra Newsletter subscribers. Sign up now for a sneak-peek of LuminUltra Academy.
With the wide range of resources available, no matter what your specialty, you can connect with colleagues, stay up-to-date on new solutions, and add to your skillset from anywhere, on your own schedule.