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Water-efficient landscape training and certification offered

Posted 2/28/2019

people watching a water assessment

Participants will learn how to conduct a water audit on an existing landscape during the QWEL training. Photo by Leilani Konyshev, Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension class prepares landscapers for Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper certification

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension invites local green-industry professionals, including landscapers, groundskeepers and nursery workers, to attend the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training in Reno, March 12-19. The training will prepare participants to take the certification exam on March 19 to become certified professionals.

“This training provides the opportunity for green industry professionals to step up their education, making them more competitive in the industry and training them to help Nevadans become more water efficient,” Cooperative Extension Northern Area Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch said.

The training is part of Extension’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification (QWEL) Program. Professionals certified by the program, which was designed by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, will be listed on the EPA’s WaterSense website and on the website, where local landowners can find them for hire. In addition, certified QWEL professionals can use the QWEL logo on their vehicles and business cards as a means of marketing their qualifications to their customers.

Classes are taught by Cooperative Extension and Truckee Meadows Water Authority faculty, staff and industry professionals. Participants will be provided with local water, soil and plant information; basic and advanced irrigation principles; and hands-on water audit skills they can use in the field.

Anyone can take the training for personal knowledge, and professionals are encouraged to take the exam to become certified. Workshops will be held:

  • March 12, 9 a.m. — 1 p.m., lunch will be provided
  • March 13, 9 a.m. — 4:15 p.m., lunch will be provided
  • March 15, 8:30 a.m. — 4:15 p.m., lunch will be provided
  • March 18, 1 — 4:15 p.m.
  • March 19, 9 a.m. — noon: certification exam

Cost for the training is $100 and includes the hands-on water audit, class supplies and lunches. The certification exam is 9 a.m. — noon, March 19, and the cost is $50. Both the training and the certification exam are at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno.

Registration is a two-step process, beginning at the QWEL-Reno webpage. For more information on classes or certification, contact Cooperative Extension Commercial Landscape Horticulture Program Coordinator Jenn Fisher at or 775-336-0249. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the beginning of the workshops.

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