Good quality water is, and will remain, central to the country’s economy. It is essential for both agriculture and industry, and without it the nation’s homes and cities will be unable to function. It is, however, a scarce resource and needs to be managed with care. Great strides have been made in the last decade in the provision of water and sanitation services but there is still much more to be done, especially as far as the peri-urban and rural population are concerned. What is more important, both the resource itself and the infrastructure need to be cared for if the country is to sustain the development planned by the government. People working in the water field make a major contribution to the quality of life of individuals as well as to the long-term overall sustainability of the country. We need more skilled people in the water field, particularly people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Having appropriately skilled people in the water sector is central to the sustainable management of water and sanitation services as well as of our water resources. There are many opportunities for people who want a career in the water sector, be it in central, provincial, or local government, the water industry (water or sewage works), other related services, or academia (e.g. research). It is important that you, the learners, make the correct subject choice for your matric so that you can study for the work that you want to do. This guide is designed to help you in your career.