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Water conservation officer

A water conservation officer monitors, manages, protects and improves environmental areas where groundwater is critical, such as wetland habitats, taking action where required to rectify problems.

Job description

A water conservation officer monitors, manages, protects and improves environmental areas where groundwater is critical, such as wetland habitats, taking action where required to rectify problems. They provide advice regarding the environmental impact that proposed building, drainage and flood defence work may have on wildlife. They are employed by environmental and conservation organisations, research bodies and regulatory bodies.

Work activities

  • Visiting and monitoring sites; setting up field surveys.
  • Providing advice about how to protect wildlife habitats and possible solutions to problems.
  • Undertaking wildlife observation and species surveys.
  • Liaising and negotiating with clients, regulatory authorities, wildlife groups and other professionals such as engineers, planners and surveyors.
  • Promoting environmental awareness and conservation via talks, guided walks and workshops.
  • Helping with volunteer activities and conservation projects.
  • Following changes in legislation/EU directives.

Work conditions

Travel: Water conservation officers may have to visit various sites, organisations and educational centres on most days.
Working hours: can vary; some projects and field surveys may involve longer hours or weekends.
Location: Officers are generally based in regions close to water sources. The Environmental Agency (Republic of Ireland) has its headquarters in Wexford.

Entry requirements

An appropriate degree in biology, geography, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology or environmental sciences is necessary. Graduates of other disciplines may find a postgraduate qualification useful.

Competition for jobs is high, so gaining relevant experience through volunteer work or placements is essential.