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Water Harvesting Design Certification

The Water Harvesting Design Certification course provides professionals, educators, and community organizers with comprehensive instruction in water harvesting systems design and construction.
A field installation review session during a Water Harvesting Design Certification course
Program description

In our Water Harvesting Design Certification course, you will receive the highest quality and greatest depth of training in integrative water harvesting offered in the nation. Through a unique combination of hands-on and classroom instruction, the course provides a thorough, on-the-ground understanding of the core principles and adaptive practices which can be applied in a range of climates and human contexts.

The course consists of 45 hours of instructor-based learning that includes two, 2-hour virtual primer sessions prior to a week-long, intensive series of in-person sessions in Tucson, AZ. See a typical course schedule below. 

Certified Practitioners

Watershed Management Group has a rigorous certification process to become a Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner. See a list of those that have passed our certification process.

Upcoming courses

Register for September 2024Dates: Sep. 9th - Sep. 14th, 2024 with virtual primer sessions Sep. 4th and Sep. 6th, 2024.

Register for November 2024Dates: Nov. 4th - Nov. 9th, 2024 with virtual primer sessions Oct. 28th and Oct. 30th, 2024.

Register for March 2025Dates: Mar. 10th - Mar. 15th, 2025 with virtual primer sessions Mar. 3rd and Mar. 5th, 2025.

Contact us if you have any questions!

Certification Course Curriculum

The curriculum provides detailed instruction on water-harvesting systems, planning, design, and installation for retrofitting urban areas. The course includes:

  • Integrated site assessment, planning, and design of rainwater harvesting earthworks, rain tanks, and greywater systems
  • Hands-on training workshops to install water-harvesting systems
  • Instructor-led session activities to practice and apply knowledge gained
  • Final real-world water harvesting design practicum to earn certification

The Water Harvesting Design Certification course is designed and administered by WMG staff with assistance from industry professionals who teach and implement water-harvesting practices.

Meaning of CertificationCourse participants prepare to head out on a bike tour with author and instructor Brad Lancaster

Certification signifies that you have received thorough training and demonstrated a mastery of essential core concepts outlined in the curriculum.

To earn certification, participants must earn 90% on a final real-world water harvesting design practicum based on application of systems design taught in the course. Once you earn certification, you will be listed on WMG’s website as a WMG Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner, including your profession and/or business name.

Certification will teach you to:

  • Integrate water harvesting systems with other design considerations (energy conservation, aesthetic design, food production, wildlife habitat, etc.)
  • Calculate rainwater and greywater potential monthly supplies
  • Estimate indoor and outdoor monthly water demands to develop and balance a site-based water budget
  • Size, design, and build water harvesting earthwork features (eg. infiltration basins, berms, swales)
  • Design safe and effective greywater systems for laundry, sinks, and showers
  • Construct greywater systems from a laundry machine wastewater or other fixture to irrigate landscape
  • Design, size, and install rain tanks
  • Design water-harvesting systems to support small-scale food production (including earthworks design, rain tank design and application, and soil improvements)
  • Design all of the above systems while incorporating safety and health considerations
Program requirements
  • There are no formal educational or professional requirements for this course, but applicants should have the desire and capacity to master a large amount of information in a short time.
  • Highly recommend participants become comfortable with unit conversions for lengths, areas, and volumes and practice and apply water harvesting calculations found in course preparatory handouts. 
  • Ability to work outdoors. Course participants will conduct site assessments and assist in hands-on system installation workshops, including plumbing, digging, planting, and rock work.
  • Participation in the entire training program. If a session is missed, the student must make up that session at a later date to earn certification.
    • A passing grade of 90% on the final design practicum.

    Registration: $1,400 (Student and Early Bird discounts available). Cost includes lunch and snacks provided each day of the training, as well as a physical copy of the course manual. WMG provides a limited number of needs-based scholarships up to $300 to defray costs. Participants are also encouraged to apply for grants, such as workforce development or green job training funds offered through employers or city, county, or state governments.

    • Recommended course texts (sold separately) include:
      • Brad Lancaster's Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volumes I, 3rd edition
      • Brad Lancaster's Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volumes II, 2nd edition 
      • Art Ludwig's Create an Oasis with Greywater
      Continuing Education

      Continuing education credits for the following programs may be provided upon request. Contact us for details:

      Recent instructors
      Course participants check elevations as they plan and design water harvesting earthworks Typical Schedule (subject to change)
      • Virtual Primer Session 1: Mon., 3p.m. - 5p.m., during week prior to in-person sessions; Water Supplies, Demands, and Budgeting
      • Virtual Primer Session 2: Wed., 3p.m. - 5p.m., during week prior to in-person sessions; Water Harvesting System Design Calculations
      • Course Introductory Session: Mon., 10a.m. - 5p.m., Introductions and facilitated discussion related to "Setting a vision and building collective action - from water harvesting to watershed restoration"
      • Day 1: Tue., 8a.m. - 5p.m., Principles and Integrated Design, Site Assessment Tools and Techniques; Water Harvesting Bike/Walking Tour
      • Day 2: Wed., 8:30a.m. - 5p.m., Site Assessment Hands-on Facilitated Activity, Concept Design Development and Planning
      • Day 3: Thu., 8a.m. - 5p.m., Water Harvesting Field Project Installation, Concept Design Development Review and Discuss
      • Day 4: Fri., 8a.m. - 5p.m., Field Site Install Follow-up and Critique, Course review and design adaptations for different site contexts
      • Day 5: Sat., 10a.m. - 5p.m., Design Practicum and Course Closing Session 

      If you have questions about the training program or application process, please email us or call 520-396-3266 x20.