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What does an Institute of Water do?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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An institute of water is an organization involved with education and research regarding subjects related to the world's water. From exploring and researching freshwater and saltwater bodies to developing water-based technologies and optimizing the capabilities of fisheries around the world, these organizations conduct invaluable research and development projects. Many institutes are attached in some way to an educational or government organization.

The research conducted by an institute of water is wide and varied. Some researchers focus on ways to raise and preserve the fish and other aquatic creatures that dwell in the world's waters. Included in these projects can be initiatives that aid in creating safe practices for commercial fishing, conservation efforts, and managing wild and domesticated fish populations.

Other areas of study include biochemistry and investigation into the different processes that occur within lakes, rivers, oceans, and ponds. Similarly, ecologists at an institute of water study the relationships between the water and the organisms that live there, from microscopic life to fish, amphibians, and birds. These research groups also monitor the world's rapidly disappearing wetlands; efforts to conserve these areas are also undertaken.

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Many times, phenomena are studied on a small scale in order to implement a solution on a larger scale. Pollution and the development of algae can be detrimental to native life, and an institute of water studies the natural patterns of these life cycles as well as ways to preserve them. In addition to examining the status of bodies of water in the present, many research programs also strive to determine what effects current actions will have on the future.

There is also a technological aspect to the work of an institute of water. Many departments develop new technologies to explore underwater areas of the world that have remained untouched and unseen by humans. Remote-controlled vehicles for underwater exploration, sensors for monitoring the effects of weather conditions on water, and even the use of hydroelectric power are all explored by these organizations. An institute of water is typically also involved with the management of water resources. This can involve studying how water is used and recycled, as well as the environmental impacts that proper and inefficient water use can have.

Individuals can typically go through educational programs at these institutes and earn a variety of degrees. Many offer courses in public outreach, aquatic science or technology and agriculture based programs. Those who earn a degree in these programs typically find a number of career paths open.

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