Florent Vetillart (France)
Business Developer - Water & Sanitation
Master of Integrated Water Management
Water management in remote Aboriginal settlements
"The rush to control water resources as they become increasingly scarce is unleashing conflicts between nations and people," says Florent Vetillart, IWC Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) Alumnus from France.
“This is a major challenge for our generation and the next one,” he says. “There is a huge amount of work ahead of us.”
Florent decided to take up this challenge, and in 2008 he enrolled in the IWC Masters program to broaden his skills in integrated water management.
“The global water concern was appearing to me as a relatively new but increasingly urgent matter, requiring more than a mere scientific understanding of the water cycle or water chemistry,” he said. It required taking a step back in order to see the “big picture” of water management.
The IWC Masters program caught Florent’s eye “because of its unique holistic approach to water management, underpinned by socio-economic, governance and environmental perspectives.
“The course helped me to build good interpersonal and teamwork skills and adapt to changing work environments and situations.
“I particularly enjoyed the richness of sharing experiences, knowledge and viewpoints on various water-based topics with peer-students coming from all over the world with a wide range of backgrounds.
“I believe such sharing is a first step to understanding and overcoming cultural barriers.”
Florent predicts a growing demand over the next years for multi-skilled water managers who are able to tackle problems from a holistic approach. “People willing to get involved in the water sector need to be aware of the complexity each water issue brings.” Solving them will require a strong commitment over more than one generation.
Florent says that those considering studying the Master of Integrated Water Management need to be prepared to work hard. However, he says, the program is interesting and rewarding, and “Brisbane is a great place to live!”.
Florent has spent time developing the water and sanitation department for the French subsidiary of a German company he worked for in Paris, as well as supporting its Spanish subsidiary in Africa.
In the future he plans to work in water management overseas, and continue to help tackle the generational challenge of integrated, sustainable water management.