MWRA 2009-2010 Writing Contest Winners

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Alex Norton
Grade 10, Marlborough High School, Marlborough


Is Water Your Future?

Let's take a moment to think about water. Words like crystal clear, sparkling and refreshing might come to mind. Thoughts like essential to life, great to swim in and makes the Earth a nice place to live can be agreed upon. But have you considered a future career in the field of water? Working with water all day, everyday? It probably never entered your mind right? Well you just might want to give this amazing field some consideration. Whether you love science, technology or public relations, water is the place to be! It tastes great, is found all around us and we need it.

Calling all scientists! Are you interested in biology? How about chemistry or environmental science? These are great fields and all of them are utilized by the water industry. Biologists are needed to understand what is found in our water, whether it is present in our reservoirs or flows into our treatment plants. Medicines people take, chemical additives in foods and household products are changing all the time and many of these end up on our water supply. These potential hazards and toxins need to be identified and understood so that chemists can figure out how to break them down and eliminate them. If you loved playing with a chemistry set when you were a kid, it is time to hone those skills to remove pollutants from our water supply to make it safe to drink. And while it is incredibly important to produce safe drinking water, the impact of water pollution on the environment is becoming more obvious each day. Understanding our water habits and how the by products of cleaning water affect the Earth is imperative. Skills from many of the science fields are definitely required to continue producing clean water.

Ok, so maybe science isn't really your thing - how about engineering and technology? Just like computers and televisions need constant improving, so does the infrastructure of our water systems. PVC pipes have replaced copper pipes which replaced lead pipes, etc. Safety, cost and convenience drive the technology needed in all aspects of our lives and water management is no exception. Improving the pipes that deliver clean water to homes and businesses, the pipes that remove waste water and return it to the treatment plants, septic tanks, filters, and all the components in our water treatment facilities come under the field of technology. We need pipes that don't leak, seals that stay sealed and holding tanks and filters strong enough to withstand the chemicals used to clean water. We know we can build it, but can we make it better, safer and with lower cost?

Not a scientist or technology guru? Do you prefer the written word or creating flashy publicity campaigns? If so, water can provide a great career for you too! Educating the public about their part in keeping our environment clean and thriving is more important today than ever before. While city and town governments are keeping an eye on area businesses, we still need to let our citizens know they playa huge role in conserving our resources. People need to be encouraged to recycle and conserve water. They need to be taught about the dangers of dumping toxins into area streams and rivers. Will you be the first to create an amazing internet campaign teaching kids about water conservation, the dangers of pollution or encouraging recycling? Helping our environment in such an important way would be a fantastic career!

Bottom line - we need clean water to survive. You may take it for granted as you go to the faucet to pour yourself a glass, head to the beach for a day of swimming or turn on the hose to water the lawn, but it is time to start thinking about your role in providing clean water for our future. We need you, our talented scientists, our innovative thinkers and creative public relations people to keep our water supply safe and plentiful for generations to come. Maybe it is time to focus your future on this all-important substance and make water your career!

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