Land and Water Management

What is Land and Water Management?

Land management involves overseeing the use and development of land resources. This includes soil and its properties, minerals and other resources that can be found within the soil, as well as developments that occur on land.

Water management concerns control over the use, movement and conservation of all forms of water resources.

Together, land and water management covers the promotion of effective, sustainable and profitable use of these natural resources, balancing the demands of governments, individuals and organisations.

Land management requires a deep awareness of the many properties and varieties of soil. Land managers understand the processes involved in soil science, and the competing demands for soil across environments. A knowledge of the principles of biology and chemistry is essential, as you develop an understanding of soil’s involvement in environmental cycles, and commercial processes such as mining.

Land management also includes considering how land can best be used for development, whether this be for housing or commercial property interests.

Effective land managers understand how to consider environmental, social and economics factors to ensure resources are utilised appropriately.

Water management concerns the fundamentals of hydrology, and how reliance on the water cycle is essential to all life on earth. Further than that, though, water managers are heavily involved in overseeing different water catchments (rivers, damns, lakes, oceans and more) to assist in facilitating water supply and environmental conservation.

Land and water managers use critical and creative skills to balance the impact of human interactions with resources against the needs of the natural environment. As humans increasingly consider the impact they are having on the planet in more depth, land and water managers are playing a vital role in shaping environmental responses to global changes.

Land and water managers also cultivate skills in natural hazard awareness and response. Areas of land and bodies of water are easily impacted by natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and storms.

Land and water managers use risk assessment techniques to prepare for such eventualities and formulate potential responses to minimise the impact on people and the environment.

Those working in land and water management are change managers. They respond to changes in human demands, including economic factors, government policy, and social movements, as well as the natural evolution of the environment.

Land and water managers use their scientific knowledge to ease the process of change for competing stakeholders and facilitate solutions that support positive environmental practices.

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Bachelor of Environmental Practice

Learn to manage vital environmental resources and manage change effectively.

What does a land and water management specialist do?

Land and water managers make complex and well thought out management decisions that consider economic, social and environmental demands for land and water usage.

Land and water managers are passionate about sustainability, and part of an increasing movement to ensure human impact has as low an environment footprint as possible.

Those with an interest in land and water management tend to specialise within a particular area. These areas can include soil quality, minerals and mining, coastal conservation, water treatment and supply, hazard reduction, and many others.

Some choose to cultivate more diversity in their day by becoming consultants, providing advice on the management of numerous issues within land and water management.

Land and water managers apply problem-solving and decision-making principles to their everyday practice. They are skilled at weighing up competing interests and devising solutions to meet the needs of all parties, while ensuring environmental sustainability.

An understanding of environmental patterns and processes is essential to the work of a land and water manager. As the field has an aspect of unpredictability, land and water managers are also quick-thinking and able to pivot processes and plans when required.

Working within land and water management, you’ll become comfortable using a variety of technology to support your work. From soil and water sampling devices, through to complex hydrological systems, you may attain a working understanding of the operations of many such devices, as well as how their results can be used to inform decisions.

Land and water management specialists have the option to seek further accreditation in a number of fields. Depending on your interests, there are numerous opportunities to upskill and become an expert in your area.

What jobs are there in land and water management?

The scientific knowledge and sustainability-focused management skills you’ll gain with a major in Land and Water Management through the Bachelor of Environmental Practice at JCU can take you anywhere, from local government through to multinational organisations.

Land and water management specialists may work in conservation, environmental policy, essential services management, consulting or project management, among other sectors.

Your fieldwork opportunities and experience with hands-on, practical work could see you working within some of Australia’s most beautiful, unique or resource-rich coastal and inland regions.

As climate policy becomes a more pressing concern for governments and organisations across the world, you may find yourself exploring international opportunities, supported by the world-class skills and knowledge you gain from your degree.

Job opportunities from a Bachelor of Environmental Practice, majoring in Land and Water Management, at JCU include:

  • Sustainability adviser
  • Project manager
  • Environmental manager
  • Soil scientist
  • Water operations specialist
  • Wastewater technician
  • Aquaculture specialist
  • Hydrologist
  • Geotechnical consultant
  • Conservation management specialist
  • Environmental or agricultural policy adviser.
Cattle grazing on Australian cattle property
 Big yellow mining truck

Why study Land and Water Management at JCU?

At JCU, environmental science is just one of the fields in which we’re producing world-class research. Your lecturers are renowned experts in the field, who will assist you in developing the skills you need to excel in land and water management research, practice or both.

When you study Land and Water Management at JCU, you’ll study in unrivalled geographically and climactically diverse landscapes. Learn right by the Great Barrier Reef and embrace the opportunity to complete field-based studies in a World Heritage site.

The JCU Bachelor of Environmental Practice provides you with the fundamental scientific knowledge and current methodologies of the field. Our degree is heavily focused on developing hands-on practical learning opportunities so that you’ll be ready to contribute to your chosen area of focus sooner.

Our coursework helps you work towards accreditation in particular areas, including as a Certified Practicing Soil Scientist, among other options.
You’ll hone your industry-relevant skills with multiple opportunities for work placements and professional experience. Our industry partners are leaders in their fields and enthusiastic about supporting JCU students and graduates.

As a Land and Water Management major, you’ll have access to our intensive fieldwork course. Here, you’ll investigate land and water management practices within our unique tropical context. Take the opportunity to meet with professionals working in the field and visit experimental sites. We’ll assist you in forging connections that could lead to work experience and job opportunities post-graduation.

5 Stars for student teacher ratio1
#1 in Australia for sustainable education2
5 Stars for full-time employment1
1 2024 Good Universities Guide 2 2023 Sustainability Rankings
Parneet Kaur standing by a tree.

Parneet Kaur

International Student

Bachelor of Environmental Practice

“I chose to study environmental practice simply because managing the environment is a very crucial task that affects all people and places. I chose JCU because it gives so much hands-on experience and makes students industry-ready, as well as being above world standards in environmental research.

The benefits to study on this campus are endless. Cairns has very rich biodiversity and the campus is located near many rainforests as well, which works great for someone like me who is studying the environment and can gain pure hands-on experience and can actually touch and see what we study."

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