Adopt QWEL in Your Region

Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership LogoBenefits of Adopting QWEL

The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership’s (Partnership) Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Program is recognized as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense labeled Professional Certification Program. QWEL is available for adoption by retail water agencies, non-government organizations, and educational institutions.

Benefits of adopting QWEL include:

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  • WaterSense labeled Professional Certification Program—a mark of distinction
  • QWEL Irrigation System Auditing curriculum
    • Reference manual
    • PowerPoint Slides
    • Teaching Guide
    • Professional Certifying Organization (PCO) Guide
  • QWEL Graywater Specialty Module
  • Marketing materials that have been developed to entice landscapers to become QWEL certified and for homeowners and property managers to choose a QWEL professional
  • QWEL program management software
    • Listing of QWEL certified professionals available for hire
    • Creation of events and classes
    • Email communication with QWEL professionals
    • Continuing education tracking
    • Secure portals for PCO administration and for QWEL professionals
  • Lising of QWEL certified professionals on both the QWEL and WaterSense websites

Steps for Adopting QWEL in Your Region

Step 1: Submit a statement of intent to the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership using the contact form.

Step 2: Customize the QWEL materials. To ensure the QWEL program is locally specific, customization can vary depending on location and similarities to Sonoma County. At a minimum Section 1: Where our Water Comes From must be edited for each region. Additional customization is encouraged, but not required.

Step 3: Apply to EPA WaterSense. Complete and submit an Application for Certifying Organization Approval and a Professional Certifying Organization Partnership Agreement to EPA WaterSense.

QWEL Adopting Professional Certifying Organization (PCO) Fee Structure


Onboarding Fee

Payable within 90 days of date of approval as a PCO.

Type of Organization $
Retail water agency with 3,000 or fewer connections; non-government organizations, and educational institutions 1,000
Retail water agency with more than 3,000 connections 2,500
Wholesale water agency 10,000

The onboarding fee is a one-time fee to cover the administrative cost of establishing a new PCO. This includes:

  • Establishment of new PCO on the QWEL website and association management system
  • Access to QWEL teaching materials
  • Access to QWEL marketing materials
  • Access to QWEL program management software
  • Instruction and training on the use of the program management software

Pricing may vary for PCOs with specific custom requirements. Other in kind arrangements will be taken into consideration upon request.


Annual Fee

Based on the number of active certified professionals at the end of each calendar year.
Payable by March 31.

Number of Certified Professionals as of December 31
0 to 100 500
101 to 500 1,000
501 to 1,000 1,500
1,001 to 2,500 2,500
2,501 to 5,000 5,000

The annual licensing fee is to cover ongoing costs associated with the QWEL program such as
continued development of program materials and software licensing fees.

Initial Annual Fee for New PCOs

New PCOs approved on or before June 30 will be invoiced at the end of the same calendar year. New PCOs approved on or after July 1 will be billed at the end of the next calendar year.