class participants doing a catch can test on turfgrass

What is QWEL?

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) was created in 2007 by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and has been modified to meet the needs of Nevadans. The training was designed to provide an affordable, proactive and local approach to reducing landscape water demands, as well as share the knowledge of water efficient and sustainable landscape principles. This program is EPA certified through the WaterSense program.

QWEL will provide participants with local water, soil and plant information, basic and advanced irrigation principles and hands-on water audit skills they can use in the field. The program covers the following topics:

  • Where our water comes from
  • Sustainable landscaping
  • Soils
  • Landscape water
  • Irrigation systems
  • Irrigation maintenance & troubleshooting
  • Irrigation system auditing
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Irrigation controllers

More information about a Spring 2024 QWEL session will be coming in late February. 

Participants can take the 18-hour training course just for the knowledge, or they can also take the exam to obtain a certification. Upon certification, professionals will need to continue their education with at least two continuing education units per year to uphold their certification. If interested in becoming QWEL certified in 2023 please contact Megan Andrews,

participant setting down catch cups on lawn

Why get a QWEL certification?

  • Gain practical knowledge and skills to meet the demand for water efficient, sustainable landscapes.
  • Your name and business information are posted on the directory of qualified professionals and the WaterSense website.
  • Use the QWEL logo on your trucks and business cards to market your qualifications.

Green Industry Classes & Events

News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
close up of plant
Certified Nursery Workers, Spring 2020
Certified Nursery Worker Professional List, Spring 2020 Class
Morris, C. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Bulletin
prickly pear cacti
Cold-hardy cacti
A list and description of cold-hardy cacti.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
person performing catch can test on lawn
Look for QWEL-certified pros for your next landscape contract
Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper is a new program to Nevada for landscape professionals to learn about irrigation principles for water-efficiency.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Preparing your landscape for a vacation
How to care for your landscape or garden during vacation in summer months.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Tips for Keeping Your Landscape Plants Alive During a Drought
A brief list of tips on how to protect your landscape during drought.
Kratsch, H. 2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Blog

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Learn more about the program's team

Megan Andrews
Program Leader & Contact
Heidi Kratsch
Program Leader
Wendy Hanson Mazet
Team Member