Water Conservation And Management

Course CodeBEN302
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Manage Water Resources More Efficiently

Human beings need water: to drink, for farming, sanitation and much, much more.
Some animals are more susceptible to lack of water – amphibians dry up if the air is too dry or they stay too long out of the water; while other animals have adapted to get enough water only from the foods they consume (terrestrial carnivores). Human beings need between 3 and 3.5 L of water in food and drinks (together) to replace the same quantity lost daily in breathing, transpiration and other body functions.

Plants cannot survive without water. They survive drought periods producing resistant structures specially designed for those periods, be it seeds, or roots, rhizomes or stems that accumulate enough water for the entire dry season. But they will not develop living structures without water.

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 Wastewater
    • 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 wastewater.
    • 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.


Water is chemically a small molecule made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen. It is a colourless, tasteless and odourless substance that can be liquid, solid (ice) or be present as gas in the air (in this form is called relative humidity).

Water is a universal solvent. Its solvent properties are due to its polarity, with positive (Hydrogen ion H+) and negative electrical charges (hydroxyl ion OH- ) in the molecule. Water dissolves hydrophilic substances such as salts, and repels hydrophobic substances such as fats and oils. Gases can dissolve in water too, such as Oxygen and Carbon dioxide (CO2). This property of water is important as it means that water transport substances from one reservoir to another, contributing with fertilization of land and water, with erosion and with pollutants and particles transport.

Due to its capacity to solve carbonates, water can have buffering properties showing a range of pH values from acidic (pH values lower than 7) to alkalinity (pH higher than 7). Pure water pH is neutral, with a value of 7 in the pH scale. Acid waters can occur naturally, but acid precipitation is not a natural fact. On the contrary, is the result of industrial contamination of the atmosphere. Acid rain is the triggering factor that has contributed to soils degradation and forest loss in several temperate and cold climate countries (US, Canada, Northern and Central Europe). The effects are not direct on the trees, but rather are caused by decreased defence mechanisms against pests and diseases in trees from forests that receive acid rain. 

The water cycle or hydrological cycle refers to the changes that occur to water throughout its movement on the Earth’s surface. Surface water present in the Sea, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and on the land evaporates with the Sun’s energy input. Water present in the soil is also evapotranspirated by plants to the atmosphere. Water in the atmosphere condenses into clouds that produce rain (precipitation). Rain replenishes the land (infiltration) and water reservoirs (sea, rivers, lakes, groundwater and soil water) through runoff, thus closing the hydrological cycle.


Both Quantity and Quality of water must be managed! 

Water quality is very variable due to natural and anthropogenic (man-made) factors. Water dissolves salts and minerals in its path from mountains to the sea and carries sediments and organic particles (microscopic bacteria, algae, animals or other living organisms). Also there are plants and many animals that live in streams, lakes and dams that feed in other water organisms and that breathe and discharge substances from their bodies (faeces, urine, skin, gases). 

Man also produces and discharges into water bodies many substances, organic and non-organic, end products of our activities.


Contaminants can be from: 

  • point sources: wastewater outlets from houses, industries, wastewater treatment plants, etc.
  • diffuse sources: fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides applied to crops that percolate with irrigation or rainwater to underground storages or to surface streams and lakes.


Rainwater also cleans roofs, roads and streets, where car exhausts particles and dust accumulate, thus washing away these contaminants that end up in waste water treatment plants, or as in most countries of the world, in surface waters.

Contaminants can also pollute underground water. Concerns are high due to chemical contaminants of aquifers, especially in countries or areas where most of the drinking water is obtained from underground sources. Typical contaminants are pesticides and oil derived products.



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



Water management is critical for everyone, hence anyone could benefit in some way or other from this course.

  • Land managers - farmers, gardeners, property owners, parks managers, foresters, environmentalists
  • Anyone working with water collection, supply or distribution
  • Conservationists and resource managers
  • Irrigators, plumbers etc.
  • Anyone working in the supply of equipment for plumbing, water treatment, irrigation, water collection, etc


What about Working with Water?

Our staff know where the employment opportunities are - they are not always full time, and most water managers or engineers don't start out as high level professionals in their first job.

There are many jobs that require an understanding of water conservation and management, from people undertaking environmental assessments to all levels of staff in a government water supply department or sales people in a plumbing supply shop.

Talk to us - use our free career counselling course. Tell us about yourself first, and we can then help you to better understand the pathways that might lead you into employment in water management.



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