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Water Technologies and Management - Irrigation Technology

Industry Description
Water is a resource that impacts our lives on a daily basis. Due to water shortages, today and in the future, management of this precious resource is critical. With heightened emphasis on environmental concerns, the demand on water supplies requires that old, inefficient practices and systems be updated or replaced. This notion is creating a demand for a broad range of irrigation and hydrological expertise. Knowledge of water management and policy is important in the agriculture, turf maintenance, and municipal landscape industries. The water management industry is experiencing a period of rapid technological advancement in labor saving and water conserving irrigation systems, while having to manage a finite resource. Highly skilled technicians are required to design, install, operate and maintain these new technologies. Graduates of this program have been highly recruited, and job placement is exceptional.  

Department Overview
The Water Technologies and Management program offers several degree tracks for students which include Irrigation Technology and Water Resources Technology.

Irrigation Technology provides practical, cooperative learning experience in both the agriculture and the turf industries. The study of irrigation principles and practices, water and energy conservation, pumps, and fluid hydraulics, troubleshooting, and installation prepare students for industry challenges. Graduates of the Irrigation Technology program are highly recruited to design, sell, install, operate, maintain, manage, and/or service turf, landscape, and agricultural irrigation systems.

Water Resources Technicians are skilled in planning, developing, managing and evaluating programs designed to protect and regulate natural habitats and natural resources. Technicians will have the skills necessary to analyze soil, plant, and water relationships; as well as understand water relationships to environment, economic, and sociological impacts to communities.

Students in the program have the unique opportunity to participate in a paid work experience in spring and summer quarters of the program. Some courses are offered via distance delivery.
The Water Management curriculum is reviewed annually by an advisory board composed of local and regional industry members.

Students may earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Irrigation Technology upon completion of the two-year program of study. The Irrigation Technology degree prepares graduates for highly skilled entry-level positions within the industry and/or transferability to Washington State University. This provides students the flexibility to pursue a technical field of study with an option to continue their education and earn a Bachelor of Science degree. A Center Pivot Technology is available upon completion of the first year of the program.
Students may earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Water Resources Technology upon completion of the two-year program of study.

Career Opportunities
  • Water District Manager
  • Designer/Specifier
  • Conservation District Personnel
  • Installation Foreman
  • Service Technician
  • Field Technician
  • Wholesale/Retail Sales Personnel
  • Irrigation Manager
  • Consultant
  • Contractor
  • Water Auditor

Irrigation Technology Scholarship
This scholarship is funded by Nelson Irrigation, Inc. and awarded to students who intend to make a career working in the many areas of irrigation technology. The $1,000 award may be shared with one or more applicants.

Entrance Requirements
It is recommended that the student contact the lead instructor regarding appropriate program placement and paying a priority list fee to determine specific quarter start in the program. Students may enter the program fall, winter or spring quarter, however, due to course sequencing it is recommended to begin in the fall. A placement test and mechanical reasoning test offered by the Student Development Center must be completed prior to admittance to the program.

Other Information
For additional information including regional employment data, completion rates, student characteristics, and employment see