A $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation has been rewarded to Cuyamaca College for an innovative new program to improve and expand training of the next generation of water industry professionals needed to operate and maintain California’s complex water supply and delivery systems.
The Water Research Foundation and the American Water Works Association anticipate that water utilities will lose up to half their workforce over the next decade as older workers opt to retire. A 2014 Water Research Foundation report estimates that nearly one-third of the water industry workforce is eligible to retire.
California WaterWorks will train water and wastewater technicians at a historic point in time for water infrastructure. A $7.5 billion bond measure was approved by voters in November 2014 to address the state’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure deficiencies. California water and wastewater agencies are projected to carry out $45.8 billion in upgrades to the water system and $27.8 billion in wastewater systems improvements over the next two decades.