The United Nations estimates that three out of four jobs that make up the global workforce are either heavily or moderately dependent on water.
Energy, agriculture, food and beverage, forestry, pulp and paper, manufacturing, health, development, construction, insurance and government are important sectors where water and jobs are linked on various levels, whether we look at them from an economic, environmental or social perspective.
Our region is not exempt of this trend. In fact, the rapid growth in Alberta has put considerable pressure on sustainable water management. Today, more than ever, individuals, communities and businesses are facing new and different water challenges that have come about due to clear economic, environmental and technological change.
With water being such a vital part of life and a valued resource, individuals, communities and businesses need to work collectively to address both current challenges and emerging challenges.
On March 20, 2019, the MacPhail School of Energy (MSE) at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) brought together leaders from across multiple sectors of industry, academia and governments to identify current and future water management challenges and to identify ways SAIT and its students can help meet those challenges.
The workshop Managing Water Issues: Risks and Opportunities was designed to draw out strategic water challenges that Canada’s key industries are facing and to identify ways that SAIT and its students can support industry in its continuous quest for improvement. As part of SAIT’s MSE curriculum, students are given opportunities to work on real world challenges across multiple sectors – allowing them to use their newly developed skills to work on problems, generate ideas and develop solutions.