California Task Force Recommends Certification

A California task force looking at water use in landscapes is recommending statewide certification for landscape irrigation managers, according to the group's report.

"We applaud the task force for focusing on certification," said IA executive director Tom Kimmell. "A rigorous certification program like the ones offered by the IA can assure those involved in designing, installing and maintaining irrigation understand and follow best practices for water management."

The task force report calls for the Irrigation Association to work with California water and landscape organizations to create a certification for landscape irrigation managers by 2008. The certification should cover landscape water management, water budgets and irrigation system maintenance, and it should include continuing education, according to the report.

The IA presented extensive information to a task force working group on the components of a effective certification program, including steps to ensure certification exams are a meaningful measure of a candidate's skills and knowledge.

The report goes to the governor and the state legislature after a comment period.

Other recommendations from the working group:

  • Urban water suppliers should adopt water conserving water rate structures.
  • Require dedicated landscape meters.
  • Promote the use of recycled water in urban landscapes.
  • Require local ordinances to be at least as effective as the state model ordinance.
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of landscape water use efficiency.
  • Require smart controllers.
  • Adopt and enforce prohibitions on overspray and runoff.
  • Support CIMIS, the statewide system for gathering and disseminating weather data for irrigation scheduling.
  • Adopt performance standards for irrigation equipment.

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