A Career in Water Resource Management in India

Compassionate, efficient, thoughtful, productive, constructive, formative, and environment conservationist are you? If so, you can use some of these qualities to give you a prosperous career in managing the crucial and prime necessity of humanity i.e.water resources of our country.

Of course, this career needs a lot of look into the complicatedness of nature and its performances but apart from that, more importantly, it needs passion and interest in the management of its resources at an individual level. So to know all about this hot and happening career one should take a little glance at the answers to some of the most important questions which are certainly essential to begin this career.

What working in such a domain is like? What are the eligibility criteria? What are the career options and salary? Is there any selection process? Which courses are available and their cost? Which institutions to choose from? What is the future scope?

What is Water Resource Management?

Water is the driving force of all nature. Like all forms of life, humanity has always needed to consume water to survive, although being able to control and direct it is a relatively recent advancement. As early as 7000 BCE, ancient Egyptians learned to fertilize their fields by creating dikes along the Nile river to trap the yearly floodwaters and cause nutritious sediments to settle on their land. From then on, the development in the management of the resources has never been obstructed and the advancements have been overpassing the limits.

There have been several advancements in the technology of managing water-related operations and this has generated enormous employment opportunities for a lot of people. The sectors providing occupation to individuals of this specialization are vast and to name a few, water treatment firms, municipal corporations of all states, water business firms, hydropower generation organizations, engineering firms, and so on and so forth.

Let us now discuss the merits and demerits of working in this sector to get a better understanding of why one should choose this sector over all the others and why not.


  • Excellent pay
  • Job satisfaction
  • Social status
  • Sense of achievement by doing something for the environment
  • More fieldwork than the typical desk and chair job
  • Flexible working hours
  • Appreciation and acknowledgment


  • Great responsibilities can be stressful at times
  • Big projects may require extra working hours
  • Lack of job recognition
  • Social responsibility
  • Accountability for the projects to supervisors and at times political burden

It is always good to know the drawbacks of doing anything at first hand so that one can be careful from the very beginning and avoid dissatisfaction in the latter part of one’s existence.

Career options in Water Resource Management 

When one wishes to enter a profession, the most exquisite query is whether this particular profession has enough option to land on in case a certain target is not achieved? The answer is yes, there are multiple other options for those who wish to join this career.

Drinking water, water for irrigation, water storage, water productivity, fishery, species growth, and sustainment of water resources, all this is done by the water resource managers. Each individual in this department has a greater role to play in the management process, let us discuss what are the jobs which one can opt from and how much is the pay role for each one of these.

1. Water Resource Specialist:

The water resource specialist is the individual who is considered to be the most vital member of the management team. He/she is responsible for designing and implementing the programs related to all water resource issues. The matters related to supply, quality management, and regulation of water come under the control of a water resource specialist.

A water resource specialist can expect to earn a sum of Rs.1,15,000-Rs.3,90,000 per annum at the initial stage of his/her posting. Nonetheless, there is an increment in the salary every year and one can expect a better package almost as soon as two to three years of service.

2. Water Resource Manager:

A manager is responsible for managing the activity in such a way so as to make it more efficient, effective, and with the aim to give rise to no wastage of the resources. The job of a water resource manager is challenging due to these very crucial responsibilities of a manager as they need to use and reserve water in such a way so as to avoid scarcity in the present as well as make reserves for the future.

On average, a water resource manager can earn somewhere near Rs.8,16,000-Rs.15,50,000 annually and the number keeps increasing with time.

3. Water Efficiency Technicians:

Now, there are many technicalities involved in managing the water bodies and so only an expert can deal with all such machines and mechanisms used to direct the flow or store or stop the water. The water efficiency technician or technicians manage and operate such technological appliances and assist the managers or supervisors in the operational activities.

A technician managing water resources can earn up to Rs.1,89,000-Rs.2,29,000 per annum at the initial stage of one’s career.

4. Senior Programme Manager for Urban Water Sanitation:

Water sanitation is a crucial activity when it comes to managing water resources. The water bodies contain or come in contact with great degrees of chemicals and other waste products before reaching the final destination. Hence, before supplying the water to the society for varied purposes, there is a whole situation process through which the water is filtered and the supervision of this activity is done by the senior programme manager.

The annual salary of a senior programme manager amounts between Rs.1,45,000-Rs.2,34,000.

5. Water Resource Engineer:

Wherever, machines, technology, structure, and configuration is concerned an engineer will definitely be involved. Hence, the engineer is responsible for developing, installing, and operating the heavy and complex machines used in water management projects.

A water resource engineer can earn up to Rs.5,43,000-Rs, 6,56,000 per annum.

6. Team Leader/ Division Head/ Water Resource Management Expert:

There are several operational bases for water processes and to manage all the activities there is a team leader or divisional head. He/she oversees and ensures the timely completion of the tasks assigned to the subordinates.

The team leader or division is entitled to a sum of Rs.1,56,000-Rs.3,00,000 per annum at the initial job period.

7. Water Treatment Plant Manager:

The treatment plants are installed at almost every site of water operational activity. The plant manager usually keeps a check on the functions of the plant and retains its quality. Alongside this, they also prepare reports on the various matters to provide assistance to their divisional head.

A plant manager earns somewhere near Rs.1,90,000-Rs.2,50,000 and sometimes even more on a yearly basis.

8. Project Manager- Water Business:

There are several companies doing a wide range of business activities with the aim of earning profits. These organizations employ project managers to oversee the overall production process. The project managers are very much responsible and accountable for all the activities taking place at a particular site.

A project manager can expect an income of Rs.2,33,000-Rs.3,18,000 per annum at the preliminary stage.

9. Professor/ Assistant Professor in Water Technology Management:

We are all aware of the job of a professor and in case other things don’t work out and one enjoys and masters teaching then one can seek employment in the teaching profession and teach subjects such as water resource management or water technology management in the institutions. For this one may need to appear another set of exams and acquire training. At the preliminary stage, one is appointed as the assistant professor and later they become the professor.

An assistant professor is expected to earn a sum of Rs.7,12,000-Rs.10,14,000 per annum in the case of government institutions.

10. Power Transmission Expert:

Power transmission experts are individuals who operate at the hydropower plants which helps in the conversion of hydropower into an energy resource for us in terms of electricity and so on. They assist the processes in the hydro plant and manage the attainment of a specific quantity of energy altogether.

A power transmission expert can earn up to Rs.2-3 lakhs per annum.

11. Senior/ Junior Research Associate:

Research and development is an integral part of any operational activity be it business or social. Hence, the research associates in water resource management conduct research programs and help in achieving a better understanding of the activities as well as coming up with new ideas for dealing with the functionaries.

A research associate in this field can earn up to Rs.2-3 lakhs per annum

12. Hydrological Modeling Expert/ Irrigation Expert:

As the name suggests, an irrigation expert manages the water resources used for irrigation purposes. The proper disposal of excess water, storing of rainwater, directing the flow of water, creation of underwater settlement of moisture, and other relevant activities are all managed by the hydrological modeling expert also known as irrigation expert.

Irrigational activities are extremely essential for achieving a certain quantity of food products. Hence, the very crucial profession of a hydrological modeling expert/ irrigation expert can enable one to earn Rs.4,34,000-Rs.6,17,000 per annum.

Eligibility Criteria

Unlike any other profession, the prerequisites for getting training in the considerably distinct institutions are specified very profoundly and leaves no room for alterations. This is a profession that is directly linked with the availability and adequate conservation of the most essential resource available on earth.

Hence, interest and mastery in the topics or subjects from the science stream is a meaningful necessity and one must be good at these subjects right from the secondary level of schooling and it should remain consistent right until the higher secondary. There is a particular set of criteria to be eligible for this profession so let’s have a look at it.

  • 10+2 from a recognized board
  • Science as a compulsory subject in the higher secondary level
  • Minimum 60% percentage in higher secondary however in some cases where entrance tests are involved, one may even be allowed with a 55% score.
  • The minimum age is 17

The most important factor is one’s involvement and interest in executing the operations of this profession for the maximum years of his/her existence. Nevertheless, the skills required to be a successful professional can likewise not be neglected. So, to get a better idea of what the skills that come to be handy are listed below.

  • Environment Conservative
  • Analytic
  • Creative
  • Subjective
  • Observer
  • Intellectual
  • Ability to understand and learn further
  • Logical
  • Preventive and not destructive psyche

Selection Procedure

The selection method is a complex process as this profession requires individuals who are not only well informed but people who are extremely creative in dealing with various issues with the help of their analytical mind. Now, this profession is usually acquired after one successfully completes the prerequisites for getting selected and it usually means meeting the appropriate score in the entrance test if any or otherwise clearing the interviews or group discussionsconducted by certain institutions.

Various Courses

The individuals either have to opt for engineering courses or they can opt for management courses available in the various well-renowned institutions of our country. There are numerous courses available for the students willing to come in this vocation and they range somewhere between two to five years. Starting from undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses,the individuals can even opt for certificate courses as well as post-graduate diploma courses. The distinct courses in the field of water resource operation are enlisted below.

Under Graduate Courses:

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Irrigation and Water Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Soil Sciences and Water Management
  • Bachelor of Technology in Water Engineering and Management

Post Graduate Courses:

  • Master of Engineering in Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Master of Engineering in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Irrigation and Water Management Engineering
  • Master of Technology in Water Engineering and Management
  • Master of Science in Water Resource Management
  • Master of Technology in Coastal Management
  • Master of Technology in Hydraulics and Water Resource Engineering
  • Master of Technology in Water Resource Development and Management
  • Master of Technology in Water Resource Engineering

Certificate Courses:

  • Certificate Course in Modern Techniques in Groundwater Exploration
  • Certificate Courses in Water Pollution Measurement and Control Engineering

Training Institutions

The training institutions play a key role in the development of the skills of the students enrolled and associated with them. A field full of complexities and intricacies requires people who have not only theoretical but practical knowledge of the various aspects of the activities involved in dealing with the natural resources as they are in many ways interrelated with each other.

The candidates are usually given literary sessions at the initial stage of the courses and it is concluded with the fieldwork and practical life experiencing of various natural processes. The top institutions who have furnished us with the persistence of the finest mastery and excellent individuals as resource managers are cited below.

  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai
  • Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phoole University, Jaipur
  • Patna University
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
  • Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramoday Vishwa Vidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh

Career Scope

We all are aware of the future in which we are stepping into. It is full of uncertainty and anticipation of the various unpleasant events which we may need to encounter if we do not do something to restore our ecosystem. There are several reports stating that almost 40% population of India will run out of drinking water by the year 2030 and that is a severe issue that needs real-life heroes to come up with management strategies to stop this from happening.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and we all are very much aware of the weightage of this proclamation. Since the perseverance of our water resources has not been a priority for us from the beginning, we are bound to face some really tough challenges ahead of us. Several organizations and establishments are working towards mending the water resources crisis for several missions of humanity.

These organizations employ particularly rational and sensible people to operate in various sectors of water resource management. The need of the hour is to protect and sustain the natural components of our country and so the employment opportunities in the future seem relevant and driven at a high speed.

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