Watershed Wise Landscape Professional Certification

Pamela Berstler
Marianne Simon
Last Update October 7, 2022
3.0 /5
36 already enrolled

About This Course

G3’s US EPA WaterSense recognized Watershed Wise Landscape Professional Certification (WWLP) qualifies conservation, water quality and landscape professionals to evaluate irrigation systems and factor rainwater use efficiency into outdoor water efficiency analysis.

The WWLP workshop provides its participants with a deeper understanding of the plant/soil/water relationship, plant water requirements, landscape water budgeting, irrigation management and using rainwater as a resource to reduce landscape water and resource use, regardless of the climate in which the landscape is situated. Today’s land management professionals need to be more than water wise, they need to become Watershed Wise in order to manage the limited resources of the planet without sacrificing the beauty and functionality of our landscapes.

The objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary tools to evaluate a landscape’s water requirements, actual water usage, and irrigation system efficiency in order to quickly devise and implement strategies for water conservation including programming the irrigation controller, making basic repairs to the irrigation system, building the landscape’s soil sponge and capturing rainwater in the soil.

Learning Objectives

Conduct a Landscape Water Audit and Site Evaluation
Design Projects within Water Budgets using Plant Factors
Use Soil Food Web Principles to Remove Lawn without chemicals and Build Living Soil
Size and Site a Rain Garden that holds on to First Flush
Calculate Irrigation Run Times and Precipitation Rates to Eliminate Dry-weather Runoff
Select Highly Efficient New Techniques and Technologies to improve water use efficiency

Material Includes

  • Videos
  • Slides
  • Practice Exercises
  • Quizes
  • Booklets


  • You should already be somewhat familiar with fundamentals of how water moves through soil and how an irrigation system works.

Target Audience

  • Landscape Architects and Landscape Design, Construction and Management Professionals
  • Water Conservation and Water Use Efficiency Professionals
  • Watershed and Water Quality Managers
  • Irrigation Design and Installation Professionals
  • Land Planning and Building Department Professionals
  • Water and Soil Policy Makers and Regulators


45 Lessons25h

Welcome and Housekeeping

Welcome to the course! In this section we take care of some housekeeping and you will learn how to use the program interface to navigate the couse material.
How to Navigate the WWLP Course Environment2:26
Welcome to the Watershed Wise Landscape Certification!9:27
Fill out the WWLP Information Form
Pre-Assessment Quiz: Watershed Wise Landscape Certification

Introduction to WWLP and WaterSense

Learn about the EPA WaterSense program, U.S. per capita water use and the effects of conservation.

Module One – One Water

When we think about landscape water, we are prompted to think about global water. All water moves through a continual cycle, and all water is connected by the Earth’s biosphere.

Module Two – The Watershed Approach

In this module you will learn how the "Watershed Approach" to landscaping helps you mimic the functionality of a healthy balanced large watershed by treating every property like a mini-watershed.

Module Three – Plant Water Requirements

A fundamental principle of irrigation is understanding Evapotranspiration (ET), a plant's transfer of water from the soil moisture reservoir into the atmostphere as water vapor. In this module we explore ET and it's usefulness in determining how much water a plant needs in THIS place.

Module Four – Irrigation Scheduling (Part 1 – Soil Moisture Reservoir)

In this module we build on our understanding of ET and Daily Plant Water Requirement by focusing on determining how much water in the soil is available to our plants in THIS place.

Module Five – Irrigation Scheduling (Part 2 – Total Irrigation Run Time)

In this module we will add the effect of an irrigation system on the calculation of how much water is required by a particular plant in a particular place. Then we will determine how much time it takes to apply that water efficiently.

Module Six – Irrigation System Auditing and Site Evaluation

This module will cover the principles for successfully conducting both a spray irrigation system catch-can test to determine Distribution Uniformity (DU) and a general site evaluation or visual audit.

Module Seven – Living Soil

In this module you will learn how to create a living soil "Sponge," the most important water and resource conservation practice in ANY landscape, that holds on to rainwater during dry times and slows and manages water when there is excess.

Module Eight – Water Budgeting

In this module we build on TIRT, our understanding of irrigation water requirements in inches, and learn how to apply those principles to determining the quantity of water an entire landscape will require or use in gallons.

Module Nine – Passively Capturing Rainwater

In this module we determine how much rainwater will be available for capture within our landscape and where we best can sink that water into the soil sponge.

Module Ten – Integrated Resource Management

In this module we explore the many ways in which applying the Watershed Approach to landscapes enhances our environment.


Take this last opportunity to review the material in all Ten Modules and the Introduction. Review your Quiz Attempts and select View Attempt to see the questions you did not answer correctly. Take the Quizzes in Modules in 3,4,5,6,8 and 9 one more time to increase your speed. Remember the Final Exam is 4 parts: (1) General Knowledge with an 80% passing grade and (2 - 4) Specific Knowledge with a 100% passing grade. If you are SURE you are ready...GO FOR IT! Good Luck!

Site Evaluation Practicum

You are almost there! In order to compete your certification you must demonstrate a command of the calculations and field elements required for conducting a Site Evaluation and Visual Audit. Watch the video tutorial to understand how to complete the task, and upload your completed documents.

You Did It! Congratulations!

Woohoo! With the approval of your Site Evaluation, you're a Certified Watershed Wise Landscape Professional! Keep your eye out for the confirmation that your information has been uploaded to the WaterSense website.

Final Examination

The four-part final examination includes section A which is an 80% pass section and sections B, C and D which are each 100% Pass/No Pass sections (meaning every answer must be correct in order to pass the section). Get yourself organized with a calculator and a pad of paper prior to opening the first section. A Calculations Sheet is included in the module and should be downloaded prior to opening the first section of the exam. The exam is closed-book (except for the Calculations Sheet) and is time-constrained, so please manage your time wisely. You may choose to take the sections in any order, but you are permitted only 1 attempt per section.

Your Instructors


1 Course
1 Review
36 Students
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Pamela Berstler

CEO, G3 Green Gardens Group

5 Courses
1 Review
9 Students

Our very own force of nature, Pamela Berstler is a highly experienced landscape expert who co-founded and continues to manage G3, Green Gardens Group. G3 is an award-winning EPA WaterSenseTM Partner and Professional Certifying Organization that educates and certifies property owners, policymakers, and landscape professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada in irrigation and rainwater capture using the Watershed Approach to landscaping.

Through G3, Pamela promotes the principle that every landscape can be utilized to create soil security, water security, and resilient communities. She has written and published many “Watershed Approach to Landscape” guidebooks, which are utilized by various agencies as the foundation of their landscape standards.

Pamela spent a decade working as a landscape contractor with her own bespoke design/build firm specializing in innovations for sustainable cities. She didn’t come to landscapes and agriculture through a direct route, as she first took a detour through a career in derivative securities trading and raising private equity for technology and media companies. Pamela also has provided vision and leadership in executive roles with non-profit organizations such as Pacific Horticulture Society, Association of Professional Landscape Designers, and Surfrider Foundation. Drawing on her degree in Psychology and Organization Design from University of Pennsylvania and MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, Pamela is deeply committed to the reinvigoration of American entrepreneurship through regenerative land management and agriculture.

Pamela is a 2019 Climate Reality Leader and is the recipient of many awards including the National APLD Sustainability Award, EPA Certifying Professional Organization of the Year, and Garden Communicators Association Green Medal in Sustainability.

Pamela incubated a love of gardening turning 40-year-old compost on her grandfather’s urban farm and with her hands in the soil cultivating her mother’s beloved tomato patch. And while she once loved the fast life, she now is returning to her roots, sharing her farm-lust for growing family farm economic value and rebuilding rural communities. Pamela is happiest in a garden and in front of an audience talking about the power of gardens to heal the planet. 

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Marianne Simon


1 Course
1 Review
0 Students
Born to a family of artists, Marianne has spent her life exploring creativity in its many facets. In 1999 she discovered the world of landscaping and a new way of expressing herself. She received her degree in Landscape Architecture and founded her landscape company, Poetic Plantings, with the vision of creating gardens that would nurture the spirit and nourish the earth. Today she works with G3, Green Gardens Group, managing 'groundbreaking' programs, teaching and spreading the word about watershed-wise landscaping, and doing all she can to shift the pendulum back towards a healthy planet.
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Student Feedback

1 Rating

Reviews (1)

This course had some good information on creating a healthy landscape that can thrive on reduced applied water. It was nice to be able to work through the course at my own pace and focus on the areas that I needed or wanted to learn more about.

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70% off
All Levels
Duration 25 hours
45 lectures

Material Includes

  • Videos
  • Slides
  • Practice Exercises
  • Quizes
  • Booklets
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