Information For

Certificate in Water Leadership & Management


Few people disagree that Water and "Quality of Life" go hand in hand. This condition is especially true in drought prone southern California where the combined engines of population growth and development increasingly stress our ability to provide high quality water.  To meet these challenges there is an urgent need to train competent and informed leaders and managers to guide the water industry into the future.

This is no easy task as water issues are becoming increasingly complex as we move forward. Today's leadership must deal with new challenges emerging from financial, legal, climatological, environmental, technical, and even cultural domains. It is often said there is a "tsunami" approaching with respect to losing desperately needed water professionals through retirement taking with them their insights, skills, and experience needed to guide water organizations through the 21st century.  

To address this challenge, CSUSM and the regional water industry have joined together to develop a unique Water Leadership and Management certificate program. The sole objective of this partnership is to prepare present, and future, water personnel armed with requisite knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills to do the job and do it well.

 The university is launching this program jointly through its College of Business Administration and Extended Learning by offering an intermediate-level certificate designed specifically for individuals either currently employed, or interested in, middle-level water management.  Speakers and experts are assembled to address issues with respect to: water quality and supply, law and regulation, human resources, shortages and floods, finance and economics, alternative technologies, planning, employee relations, and fundamentals of surface and groundwater hydrology. Courses meet on weekday evenings to accommodate needs of working professionals along with some facility tours on the weekend.  

Optional Course: MGMT 482-4  Survey of Water Management in Southern California

Register Now! 

Program Logistics

Courses offered: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6-9 pm, some facility field trips on Saturdays

Location: CSUSM San Marcos Campus

Course Catalog

Required Courses:

  • Management Water Resource Planning & Development (8 weeks)
  • Leadership in Water Organizations (6 weeks)
  • Human Resources Ma nagement for Water Industry (8 weeks)
  • Financial Management for Water Industry (7 weeks)

Intended Audience:

  • Two years of professional or technical (e.g. legal, human resources, public administration, accounting, finance, engineering) lead or supervisory experience in the water or wastewater industry; OR
  • Two years water or wastewater industry experience with any bachelor’s degree or an AA degree in a technical, professional, or water-related major; OR
  • Bachelor’s degree plus an acceptable score on an assigned essay or presentation, and interview.

Note: Water or wastewater industry experience can be achieved while in the employ of, or providing service for, a water or wastewater agency.

Program Application


$2,940 for Certificate as a package

$480 for each of the following courses: Water Resource Planning & Development, Leadership in Water Organizations, Human Resources Management and Financial Management for Water Industry.

$720 for each of the following courses:  Environmental Policy & Regulation for Water Industry and Practicum.