Water engineering as a sub-discipline of civil engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water . One feature of these systems is the extensive use of gravity as the motive force to cause the movement of the fluids. This area of civil engineering is intimately related to the design of bridges, dams, channels, canals, and levees, and to both sanitary and environmental engineering.
A water engineer is a skilled engineer capable of understanding and calculating moving flows of water. In addition to this, a water engineer considers scenarios in which volumes of water change significantly and calculates the impact of this.
Scope of Water Engineering
The primary requirement for a water engineer is a passion and enthusiasm for understanding where water comes from, what it does in its life cycle, what it can be used for, the constraints it poses and the benefits it can bring.
From a technical perspective, water engineering is the management of every part of the water cycle; from a drop of water falling out of a cloud as rain to the point at which it joins the sea. Water has usually been used more than once on by the time this journey is finished.
The aim of water engineering is to maximise the use of potable water as a finite and precious resource. Water engineers help teams to create designs which are:
- Appropriate to the location (safe, accessible, not likely to flood).
- Appropriate to the project's current and likely future requirements.
- Sensitive to anticipated shifts in climate, given the current trends.
- Supportive of the local ecology.
Responsibilities Of a Water Engineer
As a water engineer, you'll need to:
- design overall schemes, such as sewer improvement schemes or flood defence programmes, and associated structures, such as pumping stations, pipework and earthworks (the scale of the design may range from an initial outline to a full, detailed design)
- prepare tender documents as a basis for construction
- review technical submissions
- liaise with various bodies and individuals, including local authorities, government agencies, clients, contractors, residents, suppliers, technical experts and other consultants
- work collaboratively with other businesses
- support other project managers and directors within the business and across the wider market
- keep up to date with environmental matters, and be aware of policy and developments in this area
- present technical data or project results to both technical and non-technical clients and colleagues
- monitor the progress of projects from beginning to end - from the feasibility stage, to design through to construction and handover - or supervise one section of a large project
- control budgets at project level
- administer contracts and ensure that work is completed to deadline
- supervise the operation and maintenance of water and sewerage infrastructure
- use computer simulations to analyse, for example, potential dam failure
- devise flood defence strategies, perhaps including river and flood plain modelling, economic studies and consultation with affected people
- monitor flood levels at times of high risk
- manage staff, including other engineers, technicians and site workers
- maintain and expand the portfolio of clients, by developing professional relationships that lead to secure repeat business.
Skills and Competencies needed in Water Engineering
You will need to show:
- engineering knowledge
- experience of project management
- communication and negotiation skills
- teamwork and people management skills
- problem-solving ability
- IT knowledge
- self-motivation and a proactive approach to work
- commercial awareness
- an entrepreneurial spirit
- good time management skills
- a flexible approach to work and a willingness to take on new challenges
- a full driving licence is generally required as you will have to drive to different sites.
Career Opportunities and Job Prospects in Water Engineering
- Marine Engineer
- Water Resources Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Field Engineer
Admission Requirements for the study of Water Engineering in Nigeria
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Water Engr.;
You require; Five SSCE credit passes in Physic Chemistry, Mathematics, English Language and Biology
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Water Resources Engineering. under the Faculty of Engineering in the above Universities include;
Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics