AccelerateH2O releases new ‘Water and Water Technology Cluster’ report

AccelerateH2O, in partnership with San Antonio-based Alamo Colleges and funding from the Texas Workforce Commission, has officially released the new report, "Skills, Talents, and Occupations in Texas' Water and Water Technology Cluster Report."

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, Oct. 27, 2015 -- AccelerateH2O, in partnership with San Antonio-based Alamo Colleges and funding from the Texas Workforce Commission, has officially released the new report, "Skills, Talents, and Occupations in Texas' Water and Water Technology Cluster Report."

Upon collecting and analyzing historical, current and projected data of employment, occupations and businesses in all 254 counties and the 16 regional water planning districts, the AccelerateH2O's report has identified over 76 impacted industry sectors, 50 occupations and an emerging challenge to fill some 30,000 retirements among water systems.

The total number of water-related jobs in Texas for the year 2005 was 865,558. However, with a 19-percent job increase from 2005 to 2015, 1,030,929 are now employed across a variety of sectors and occupations.

The total amount of forecasted jobs for 2025 is 1,168,320 jobs, which constitutes a 35-percent job availability jump from the years 2015 to 2025. Using a conservative index of 'core' and 'supportive' occupations to define direct and indirect employment, AccelerateH2O's assessment suggests that total employment may reach closer to 1.4 million in the near-term.

Other findings from the initial analysis include:

  • Texas is second to California in the number of water-related products, services, industries and sub-sectors. Some 340,000 Texans are directly and over 700,000 indirectly employed in operations, treatment and distribution to serve the needs of both public and private sector water-related sectors.
  • This level of employment currently places "Water and Water Technology" in the top five of overall economic and workforce "clusters" in Texas -- side by side with long-standing industries such as energy, information, bio-life sciences, aviation and defense, and electronics.
  • "Indirect" employment and jobs are in sectors dependent upon the consistent and ready flow of water for completing tasks and producing revenues. Agriculture-related jobs are linked to water for the growth and production of crops. Yet, so are car washes, laundries, fishing, recreation and entertainment, and an array of companies and jobs across the state.
  • The ratio of current postings to job placement in public water system employment is 1:1; yet, expected retirement and technology advancements requiring additional certification and training forecast a significant gap for Texas' water and water technology cluster -- a gap impacting rural and urban communities.
  • The majority of occupations require at least a bachelor's degree, followed by occupations requiring only high school or vocational training.
  • More occupations are reliant upon technical and applied understanding, and the application of information, electronic, material, and chemical processes -- therefore future education attainment and experience will require new ways of integrating learning and certification with real-time, on-site, on-the-job apprenticeships and other forms of skills development.
  • Five of the top emerging water technology investment areas require extensive engineering capacity across traditional (civil, mechanical) as well as non-traditional (marine, aerospace, information) engineering jobs that correspond to those new technologies -- all generating a broad spectrum of opportunities across Texas for undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.

"This initial report proves that Texas economic, workforce, technology, investment, and most importantly policy-making leadership must consider that we have had a large cluster of employment and opportunity right in front of us," said Ed Archuleta, chairman of AccelerateH2O, and former President of the El Paso Water System. "We can be a global hub for innovating water while assuring future generations with good paying jobs and careers."

See also:

"Texas water orgs partner to build Water Innovation Clearinghouse, Demonstration Hubs"

"Accelerate H2O hosts first-ever Texas Water Technology Investor Forum"


About Accelerate H2O

AccelerateH2O was formed to identify the most efficient and effective pathway for technology development and deployment across Texas' residential, industrial, agricultural, and utility end-users. With over 18 university research centers, 4,600 water agencies, 5,000+ medium and large corporate campuses, and thousands of farms and ranches, Texas represents an undiscovered $9-billion water technology marketplace. Yet its first and foremost mission is to solve the most challenging problems facing Texans due to the ongoing drought and leverage opportunities sparked by the continued growth of the state economy. For more information, visit www.accelerateh2o.org.

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