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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn more about water conservation and sustainability
  • Learn to better manage water resources.
  • Use water wisely
  • Understand the application of water conservation measures in different contexts.

Improve your capacity to design, implement and assess water management plans and procedures in various contexts

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The world does is running out of water. We have to do more. Find out more about water conservation and water management with this specialist and detailed course.

The world doesn't have sufficient water of adequate quality for the current population -and things are set to get worse.

  • Learn to better understand water -appreciate its value, understand it's characteristics, and explore solutions for its management.
  • Learn to manage water for improved sustainability at home or work
  • This is a valuable course for farmers, horticulturists, plumbers, irrigation industry staff, environmentalists, etc
  • 100 hrs, 10 assignments, self paced study, expert tutor support



There are 10 lessons in this course:

1. Introduction to water conservation

  • Importance of water
  • The water cycle rainfall, evaporation, infiltration, effective rainfall
  • Water sources and storage water quality
  • Facts on water uses water use at home, in primary and other industries
  • Why conserve water personal, regional and global significance

2. Water conservation at home

  • In Australia
  • In the United Kingdom
  • In the United States
  • Measures undertaken to save water in the home in the kitchen, bathroom and in the garden.
  • Water Saving Devices

3. Water conservation in the workplace

  • General principles
  • Implementing water saving strategies
  • Installing small appliances
  • Large water saving devices

4. Water management

  • Water quality maintaining water quality, salinity, chemical contaminants
  • Controlling Use and Quality of Water water flow measurement, water quality control, testing water salinity
  • Preserving Water Quality minimising evaporation, water sanitation
  • Water Audits
  • Water Management Plans

5. Water conservation in Primary Production I

  • Water Saving Measures
  • Water Wise Plants
  • Water Wise Procedures
  • Water Wise Irrigation systems
  • Water Wise Landscaping
  • Equipment, structures and tools to save water

6. Water conservation in Primary Production II

  • Use of water in primary production
  • Methods of water storage
  • Rainwater collection and storage
  • Bore water
  • Farm dams planning, lined ponds
  • Water Requirements livestock requirements, domestic requirements
  • Water Quality
  • Water Problems on Farms contamination and disposal of water, evaporation, seepage, runoff, overspray, scheduling
  • Using Farm Waste Water
  • Irrigation System Design
  • Maintenance Procedures and Scheduling
  • Surface/Flood Irrigation
  • Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Swales and Keylines

7. Water conservation in Services industries

  • Use of Water in Services Industry
  • Contamination and Disposal of Water
  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

8. Water conservation and Health

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, laundries, clinical laboratories, dental practices, human and animal research facilities
  • Uses of water in Health Industry control pathogens, general use
  • Water minimisation
  • Water efficiency

9. Water conservation in other sectors

  • Use of water in manufacturing, construction and heavy industry
  • Water use in the production process
  • Examples of water using activities in food facilities
  • Water holding
  • Benefits of cleaner production

10. Water treatment, reuse and recycling

  • Water Sanitation filtering and disinfection
  • Water Reuse and Recycling classification and composition of waste water.
  • Recycling Wastewater
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Suitable plants
  • Treating saline water

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the importance of water in the world and the reasons for its sustainable conservation and management.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water at the workplace.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water at home.
  • Explain water flow and quality control.
  • Explain water audits and water management plans.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water in Horticulture
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water in Agriculture.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water in the Services Industry.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water in the Health Industry and allied services.
  • Explain the importance of water conservation and methods to save water in other occupations.
  • Explain water sanitation and wastewater treatment methods and the difference with water reuse and recycling.


Human beings cannot survive more than 3 days without any source of water. Neither can other animals or plants. Water is life. Water is needed to move, eat, reproduce, work and think, in other words, to survive and to live.

Water resources are challenged in our world today due to pollution and overuse of the local resources. There are also fights for water between different users: farmers, people in cities and industries. There also rivers that cross frontiers, and thus there some problems in the sharing and use of the water between different countries. We are using much more water than what is really needed and available in many locations around the world.

This is due sometimes because of lack of water, but more often it is due to a bad management of the water resources available, bad or non existent urban planning and bad or non existent population planning.

We are also wasting our water resources when we are discharging our wastes and sewage into it, making the receiving waters unsuitable for life and in many cases even unsuitable for industrial or agricultural use.

These are the main reasons to preserve our water resources. There are many ways to do so. Water conservation needs to be addressed through the three environmental R’s:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

1. Reduce water use and water losses. This is also called water saving or minimization. Cleaner Production is a term used to describe all the actions taken to minimize the use of resources, water, energy or materials, that are used in our daily life (at home) and in our productive activities, such as industries, crops, health industries, office work (yes, water is also used, even minimally), etc.

Water reduction is the first step in water conservation as it is the most important factor in using water more efficiently. We reduce our water use at home when we use “water savers” in the shower. In gardening we save water when we use drip irrigation, instead of surface watering.

2. Reuse: Once water use has been reduced, we can study how we can use water that has already been used once. This is done normally with water that is not heavily contaminated with wastes. We can reuse shower water, but not water used to flush the toilets.

We are reusing water at home when we are using our grey water (from washing) to water the garden. Some industries can reuse water so effectively that they don’t produce any waste water. There are nowadays very efficient technologies to that effect.

3. Recycle. This is the third step, and generally it includes some type or technology the clean the water and use these recovered water. In rural houses, water from flushing the toilets can be cleaned with several simple and affordable technologies. This water can then be used to water trees. In Israel, in very dry areas with great shortage of water, sewage water is cleaned and disinfected so well, that it is being used to supply part of the drinking water. It is an expensive technology, but it can be done if there is no another solution to provide water to the population.


Water quality is affected by the type and amount of impurities:

  • Physical contamination is particles in the water, like silt due to erosion
  • Chemical impurities are substances dissolved in the water, like salt, fertilizers, oils, pesticides and other chemical residues
  • Biological impurities are living organisms such as algae and some micro-organisms. Bacteriological contamination is biological and it is extremely important to human and animal health.

Rain or creek water is unlikely to have serious physical or chemical impurities, like high levels of fertilizers, pesticides or oils, but may develop algal problems, particularly if exposed to light and if nutrient levels (normally due to chemical contamination with fertilizers in the creek basin) are high. Bacterial impurities may develop if this water is stored improperly or contaminated with grazing animal’s droppings and urine.

Bore or spring water hardly ever has physical or algal impurities, but may contain salts (causing hardness). Bore water may also contain iron, and in agricultural areas can have nutrients and pesticides. Bore water near industrial areas or cities may have chemical contaminants like oils and its residues and other chemical contaminants that will depend on the industries nearby.

River or channel water is likely to have biological impurities (eg. algae) as a result of fertilizer contamination and may have chemical and physical contamination, depending on the source. If the river comes from a contaminated water basin (the geographical area where rain water falls and gathers in a sole river), water may contain chemicals. This may happen when there are industries or mining activities upstream.

Dam and irrigation water generally contains few chemical or biological impurities if properly managed, but may have sediment or other physical impurities and may develop medium levels of bacteria and nutrients, particularly if animals are allowed to foul the water. If the water is rich in nutrients due to agricultural runoff, then algal blooms are likely to develop (eutrophication).

The quality of water may be found by testing a sample. This is normally carried out by such organisations as:

  • Environmental laboratories, university laboratories or university scientific services
  • Companies that sell equipment for the treatment of water
  • Local organisations such as dairy factories and water treatment trusts
  • Departments of Agriculture, Primary Industries or similar bodies
  • Departments of Mines or similar bodies
  • Departments of Health
  • Water supply authorities

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course are probably different to anything that you even been thought of when you commenced the course.





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Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

Water GardeningThis book is designed to inspire and educate presenting you with a wide range of possibilities and at the same time, raising your awareness and understanding of how water can be used in any size garden to add interest, coolness and life.
Farm ManagementThe Farm Management ebook is a valuable piece of equipment for any farming student or current farmer. Improve your farm management skills or learn new skills and techniques. The topics covered within this Farm Management ebook include 1/ Scope and nature of the farm industry, 2/ The farm site, 3/ Production systems, 4/ Managing livestock, 5/ Managing pasture, 6/ Managing crops, 7/ Managing equipment and materials, 8/ Computer applications, 9/ Farm structures and buildings, 10/ Financial management, 11/ Marketing, 12/ Farm planning, 13/ Staff management, 14/ Water management and 15/ Diversification.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.