Citizens Water Academy

The application period for the Summer 2017 class is now closed. The application period for the next class will open soon.

The award-winning Citizens Water Academy is open to future and emerging leaders in the San Diego region who want to learn about critical projects and programs related to water. 

Through the academy, the Water Authority is expanding and sustaining a diverse network of influencers who are willing to serve as outreach ambassadors on water issues and refer others to future academy classes.

The selection process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed. The Water Authority typically receives many more applications than spots available. 


The academy includes two weeknight classroom sessions, along with a weekend classroom session and facilities tour. The Summer 2017 dates and times are:

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2017: 5-8:30 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017: 5-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 3, 2017: 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For the first time, beginning with the Fall 2017 class, the Water Authority will hold the academy in North San Diego County. Locations are being finalized, but dates and times are anticipated to be:

  • Tuesday, October 10: 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 18: 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 27: 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Participants must commit to attend each session and tour.

There is no tuition, fee, or charge to apply or attend the academy; however, there may be a reportable value, as food, beverages and other items will be provided.


The nomination period for the Summer 2017 class is currently closed.


The application period for the Summer 2017 class is closed.

Summer 2017 participants will be selected the week of April 24 and notified about their selection status the week of May 1.

If you would like to be apply for the Fall 2017 Class in North County, please add your name to our interest list, or email us at

Participant Testimonials and Photo Gallery


Spring 2017 Citizens Water Academy participants on top of Olivenhain Dam



“The presentations and discussions were great. We talked about real time situations and problems that are being dealt with today."

"It's impressive to meet and hear the material from the people who actually run the show."

"I plan to ensure folks understand how critical water conservation and education are."


The Water Authority received a Silver Bernays Mark of Excellence Award for the Citizens Water Academy from the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at its annual gala on October 20, 2015. The award was given for Community Relations - Non-profit/Government/Association.  



The program also received a Communications Initiative Award from the San Diego Section of the American Planning Association at its annual awards event on May 5, 2016.



News Coverage

Next City - Sept. 4, 2015
San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug. 13, 2015
Ramona Sentinel - Feb. 12, 2015
San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov. 7, 2014 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.