IDA recently celebrated our 40th Anniversary as the leading global association focused on desalination and water reuse. That’s an important milestone by any measure. It’s also a time to reflect on what more we can do to equip young water treatment professionals with the tools they will need to address a future where the challenge of water scarcity will only continue to escalate.
Looking at today’s desalination community, I am struck by the number of young professionals who represent the second generation in their family to pursue a career in desalination. I think there is more at play here than just familiarity with our industry. Over the years, I have observed a real passion about what we do, about our ability to make a real difference for our thirsty planet.
It’s heartening to see the torch being passed, and it bodes well for our industry. But it’s just one part of ensuring that the desalination industry will continue to be served by well-trained young professionals. As the need for new, sustainable sources of water continues to increase, so will the demand for talented young professionals who will take the industry forward.
The first step is getting the word out about desalination as a career choice. IDA’s Young Leaders are doing a great job in this regard. From introducing students to desalination to conducting educational and networking events around the world, they are making a positive impact. They are true ambassadors for desalination.
IDA is looking forward to taking this one step further.
Over the past four decades, many of the world’s desalination leaders have been associated with IDA as officers, directors or members. We are now formalizing a mentoring program that will pair these leaders with members of our Young Leaders Program, building a new bridge of knowledge and experience between generations.
The details will be announced soon. In the meantime, everyone involved is looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to tap the enormous brain trust that exists within our organization, working together to foster the advancement of the young professionals who represent our future.