About Becoming A Certified Water Manager (CWM)

Certification Program Description

CLCA offers two levels of certification:

  1. Basic Certification: A CLCA Water Manager must pass the written test, complete the water audit component and manage at least one property for one year and continue to manage a property at or below the landscape water budget established by the CLCA Water Management Performance Program. In addition, water use may not exceed 80 percent of reference evapotranspiration (ETo).
  2. Expert Certification: A CLCA Expert Water Manager must pass the written test, complete the water audit component and manage five properties for one year and continue to manage five properties at or below the water budget established by the CLCA Water Management Performance Program. In addition, the water use may not exceed 80 percent of ETo.
 

Certification is open to anyone. Once you pass the written test, you must complete or have completed the one-year performance requirement to achieve certification. Upon passing the written test, a property must be enrolled in the online Water Management Performance Reporting Site within six months, or you will need to retake the written test again.

Upon achieving certification, you will receive a certificate, a listing on CLCA’s website under Certified Water Managers: Individuals, and five truck decals. Your employer will receive a listing under Certified Water Managers: Companies. (The CLCA program certifies individuals, not companies or employers.) Several water districts throughout California have provided links to these website listings.

Expert Certified Water Managers and the firms employing them will be recognized as such on the CLCA website.

Also, current CLCA Certified Water Managers can apply for an EPA WaterSense partnership through the EPA WaterSense program, which offers additional business opportunities.

Steps to Obtain Certification

  1. Register for the Performance Program.
  2. Download the study guide for the written test. (Study Guide is available for download in HI-Res, LO-Res, Printer-Friendly versions. It is also available in English & Spanish).
  3. Click here for more information on the Written Test.
  4. Register for Training & Written Test Test dates, times and locations are provided here. Watch for new training and test dates. Training and tests are typically scheduled from October-March. They will be announced as they become available.
  5. Submit irrigation audit.

Steps to Maintaining Certification

Once you have become a CLCA Certified Water Manager:

  1. Meter readings must be current at all times and are reviewed quarterly. Failure to keep readings current may cause you to lose your certification status. Details on the Performance Program page.
  2. Your immediate past 12 months of total water usage must be under your calculated budget for either full certification or expert certification, whichever is appropriate, or under the local standard if the local standard is lower. For more information on how a water budget is calculated click here.
  3. Your immediate past 12 months of total water usage must be under 100% of your budget, 80% of ETo.
 

Since, the CLCA Water Management Certification Program is a performance program, it stresses continual water management performance in lieu of CEU (Continuing Education Units). Also, once certified, you must continue to pay your annual re-certification performance fees (see Performance Program FAQs ).

The life of your certification is dependant on you following these certification requirements. Failure to meet these requirements may cause you to lose your CLCA Water Management Certification.