To honor Women's History Month, women in the water industry are sharing their career paths, insights and more.
In honor of Women’s History Month, which takes place in March, SWS asked women in the industry to tell us about their careers, goals, important industry issues and more. Each week throughout March, SWS will share one Q&A with a different woman in the industry.\][0–
Name & Title: Vallari Talapatra; President, Eco Scapes Inc.
SWS: Tell us about your career journey. How did you end up where you are today?
VT: I started as an architect and did my masters in landscape architecture with a keen interest in natural areas restoration. Over the years, I have seen the ravages of climate change and storm water issues in landscapes. I started doing residential landscapes about 15 years ago and realized the importance of designing with nature. I like to read the land I am about to design. It is important to embrace design constraints that a site poses and create gardens/landscapes that are memorable and also function well.
SWS: Why water?
VT:I have always been drawn to water. I am in awe of the flexible nature of water, its reflective and symbolic value. But in most suburban cases, water can also just accumulate and become an irritant. I find it satisfying when I can channel storm water in a way that is creative and functional.
SWS: What do you think are the most pressing issues the industry is facing?
VT: Climate change and reduced groundwater infiltration due to urban pressures.
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SWS: What are your goals for both your career and in the industry?
VT: I wish to impart whatever I have learnt from doing projects that deal with water issues.
SWS: What does it mean to you to be a woman in this industry?
VT: As a mother of a daughter, it’s awesome to see us women breaking ground and being in the forefront of an industry that was traditionally led by men.
SWS: What media (books, TV shows, movies, games, podcasts, etc.) has had the greatest impact on you in the past year?
VT: Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature,” Fisher Stevens’ “Before the Glood” and David Attenborough’s “ A Life on Our Planet”
SWS: What advice can you give those that are new to the industry?
VT: Know the new products that can help mitigate some of the water issues of the current moment we are in.