The power/water economic conflict.
The question was “should I specialize in surface water or ground waaterWelcome to an area I’ve been passionate about for decades, studied deeply from many perspectives and still not been paid a dime.
Who is suggesting that you choose one or the other? I think that having to choose between those options is just nuts.
You see, groundwater becomes surface water and surface water becomes groundwater all of the time. In one location surface water will go underground and replenish the groundwater, and in another area where the geological formations guide it, it will become a spring which feeds into rivers and surface water.
So, I’ve been pounding on the “water” drum for 20 years and I finally got it through my thick head that no one wants to hear that GIGANTIC inconvenient truth, because it’ just not profitable to do so.
My passion about water resources did not come from the water area. It came from the power side. It was in India in 1996, where I was helping design the financing model for Private Power generation.
I’d been all gaga about helping everyone get the electricity they wanted, and making sure that the power plants made more fresh water available than they consumed, and had been incredibly frustrated about how hard it was to enroll people on the water provision side. I stopped by my most respected friend and Guru’s office at UPenn, to share my lack of progress on that front power when my incredible friend and advisor, a Nobel Prize-winning econometrician pointed that I shouldn’t be surprised,, but should stick to my guns because the value of electricity was high, but water is a finite resource and it is essential with or without electricity.
Water is a finite and oversubscribed resource, but using Cape Town South Africa as an example, they are not likely to change their ways till the water resources run dry.
IMHO your focus should be on the business side of the water industry rather than whether it’s on the surface or below ground.
Best of luck, we do need real water resource experts that see the whole water, economics picture, but you may want to have a second major, like business, that will pay the bills until people wake up to the water crisis.