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Sustaining Valuable Wastewater Consulting Talent

Sustainability has become a ubiquitous component of everything from farming to energy supplies. Sustainability is the property of an ecosystem to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. More generally, sustainability can be related to the permanence or endurance of systems or processes, including business models and government programs.

Recently, I began considering the concept of sustainability from a human resources perspective, where humans, in this case, the next generation of wastewater operational consultants, are truly an increasingly scarce resource. During my thirty odd years in the wastewater field, I have had the honor and opportunity to meet, work with and/or learn from the veritable Hall of Fame of industrial wastewater consultants, engineers, and educators, including Paul Klopping, Dr. Andrew (AJ) Englande, Dr. Cliff Lange, Bob Stein, Ron Schuyler, Michael Richard, Lynn Marshall, Mike Gerardi, Alan Springer, Wes Eckenfelder, and numerous others. My exposure to the diversity of perspectives of these individuals and many others has allowed me to develop the approaches and insights that have helped EBS become a valuable resource to many of you. We don’t profess to know everything by any stretch of the imagination. We do strive to provide sound, defensible advice, and recommendations to those we serve.

What does this have to with Sustainability? Well, most of the big names in industrial wastewater are either approaching retirement, have already retired, or are partially retired. In discussions I have had with several of these gentlemen, the conversation has turned to the question, “Who will be the next generation of operationally oriented, technically savvy consultants?” While there are many, many very capable and skilled design engineers and academics continuing to enter the wastewater field, there is no obvious pipeline to ensure a sustainable population of wastewater consultants.

At EBS, we are committed to doing our part. So much so, that we added an additional sentence at the end of our “Why” statement, highlighted in the box. Our commitment to training, both internal and external, is essential to EBS being a sustainable company and an enduring resource to our clients. Nothing is more critical to that success than continuing to nurture and develop a Sustainable Human Resource component to our business and the business of our valued clients and partners.

Why do we exist – We are inspired to be Trusted Advisors for our clients, helping them protect North America’s rivers, lakes, streams, and estuaries while supporting their financial goals and long-term sustainability. We are committed to doing our part to ensure that there is a next generation of wastewater operational consultants and experts to support North American manufacturing.