When asked why he got into the water engineering field, David Carlson, PE, responds “For me, it was all about water. Water is at the heart of every community.” Growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, David realized at a young age how big of a role water plays in all walks of life, in Minnesota and beyond. This prompted him to major in Civil Engineering at the University of North Dakota to pursue his passion in working with communities to manage their water resources. David is now the Operations Manager of the AE2S offices in Billings and Great Falls, Montana.
What began as an interest in life’s most precious resource has developed into a moral desire to make sure every community has access to water. When making the move from Minnesota to Montana, David immediately noticed one of the biggest differences between the two states is Montana’s water scarcity. He says this fosters the need for extreme diligence in the treatment and reuse of water and requires hard work and innovation to ensure communities will be able to see water when they reach for their faucets.
One of his favorite projects is the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water Project, which spans over six million acres in seven counties. Providing high-quality, reliable water allows rural communities to thrive instead of simply scraping by.
Working in the City of Billings presents different challenges than rural water supply projects, as it is the biggest community in Montana. David says the City faces real ‘big city’ issues, which can be complex and challenging. “Billings is an amazing community that is passionate about working to address the challenges that come with a growing population with a single source of water supply. It is very rewarding to work alongside the City to solve these challenges,” says David.
David is thankful to be working alongside people who share his passion for water and “Think Big and Go Beyond” every single day to provide communities water. “What I love about working at AE2S is that we have a group of people who are like family. We face challenges together every day, but every day we pick up the fight again,” David weighs in. Many of the firm’s clients in Montana are fighting for water availability because of the State’s scarce water resources. “It is a team effort to implement solutions and strive to make sure future generations don’t face these same issues,” says David.
Beyond his work with AE2S, David has been involved with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) since he was a sophomore in college and currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Montana Section AWWA. He and his wife, Heather, recently moved from Great Falls to Billings. The couple is enjoying exploration of the City as well as the beautiful scenery across Montana. They enjoy spending time with their two dogs and their friends and family. David also loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible while enjoying hunting and fishing. Montana appears to be the ideal place for him to live!