Thumbnail cover image report workforce water green and blue gradients

March 2024

The water utility sector has a transformational, equity-building opportunity: the composition and capability of its future workforce. This report identifies three strategies and nine initiatives to address both the quantity and equity challenges in the nation’s water utility workforce.

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Water utilities depend on the skills, knowledge, and dedication of the more than 300,000 employees who operate and manage local water systems. This workforce serves our communities around the clock, supports environmental health, and is essential to thriving local economies. Yet many utilities face a current workforce quantity and quality crisis: a massive wave of retirements is depleting employee ranks and leaving critical jobs unfilled, and irreplaceable know-how is at risk of being lost rather than transferred to the next generation of utility workers.

The US Water Alliance sees the effects of these challenges across the nation and is crafting a suite of solutions to support the field while advancing equity. To rise to this challenge, we reviewed over 50 background reports and conducted over 20 cross-sector interviews with water leaders. The strategies and initiatives recommended in this report can transform, not just help sustain, utilities and their community’s quality of life.

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