Dive into a career that shapes the future of water conservation with our Integrated Water Management diploma program.

Designed for those aspiring to work in roles like water management specialist, watershed planner or hydrologist, this program provides a comprehensive education in water ecosystem preservation, hazard management and supporting economic activities through water stewardship.

You’ll develop a deep understanding of practical and theoretical water management through coursework and a hands-on capstone project in collaboration with industry professionals.

You will also have an opportunity to participate in an optional four-month paid or unpaid work placement program, giving you real-world experience, a taste of your future career and networking opportunities. 

You can specialize in water environmental technologies or advanced industry applications and enhance your expertise with field schools and virtual reality simulations.

In this program, you will:

  • learn to craft water monitoring initiatives and conduct field measurements using advanced technology
  • manage water data to inform strategic decision-making and environmental designs
  • utilize tools such as GIS and HEC-RAS for analysis and planning
  • engage stakeholders and resolve conflicts in water-related projects
  • design adaptive strategies for water management that consider social, cultural and environmental impacts, including Indigenous perspectives on water resources and stewardship
  • prepare for and manage water-related emergencies in the context of climate change.

The program adopts an integrated approach, promoting cross-sectoral and participatory water management - endorsed by the United Nations - and prepares you to address water challenges locally and globally. 

As Canada’s first diploma program of this kind, you’ll graduate with versatile skills applicable across various industries, ready to take on critical water resource management roles worldwide. 

Those working in water management tend to be innovative, objective and directive.

You need:

  • imagination and creativity
  • analytical ability and critical thinking skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • oral communication skills
  • an ability to write clear and informative engineering reports
  • an ability to work alone and as a team.

You should enjoy preparing, reviewing and analyzing data, developing innovative approaches to problems, using instruments and equipment to perform tasks precisely, consulting with people and working outdoors. 

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

You’ll have the option to participate in a four-month work term after your second semester.

During this work term, you’ll perform the regular duties of a water professional in a workplace environment such as industrial, service, government, university or non-profit. The work term is not required to graduate from the program. 

This program has been accredited by the Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) based on conformance with the national accreditation standard for post-secondary environmental programs.

This accreditation has been granted through the Canadian Environmental Accreditation Commission (CEAC), an independent body that oversees ECO Canada’s post-secondary accreditation program.

Graduates are also eligible for membership in the following professional associations:

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) (by passing the certification exam)

ECO Canada as an Environmental Professional in Training

Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Graduates are eligible for membership in the following professional associations:

  • Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) after passing the certification exam
  • ECO Canada as an environmental professional in-training.

After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Integrated Water Management diploma.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon100% graduate employment rate

salary icon $60,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education. 

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 21120, 22232, 21300, 21102, 92101.


Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.


The Integrated Water Management diploma requires 60 credits (18 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with two semesters each year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course introduces professional writing, collaboration and presentation skills needed to be successful in their chosen field. Learners will gain an understanding of the strategies and competencies required for effective communication with an emphasis on developing the interpersonal skills needed to perform as part of a high-functioning team. Coursework will require learners to work in individual and collaborative settings.

  • COMM 265

In this course, you will learn about managing and analyzing water data. Topics include statistics, geospatial mapping, managing large datasets, quality control, data visualization and analyzing and summarizing data. You will also explore using spreadsheets, GIS tools and aerial photography to facilitate data-driven decision-making. You will be introduced to surface water modelling using HEC-RAS.

  • WATR 203
  • WATR 206

In this course, you will evolve your competencies in data collection methods and data analysis by demonstrating methods learned in previous classes in a field setting. The field school will involve five consecutive days, each a full day in the field with data analysis following once back in the class setting. You will also be introduced to the two elective stream choices for the IWM program: Advanced Industrial Water Applications and Advanced Environmental Water Applications.

  • DATA 200
  • TECH 200
  • WATR 204

This course introduces the social side of water management with a focus on how water management has contributed to the development of societies globally and in Alberta. Topics include Sustainable Development Goals, social implications of water management for the energy sector, and high-income country versus low to middle-income country approaches to water management. Theoretical concepts will be reinforced through historical examples and case studies and then applied through class discussions and debates.


In this course, you will develop an understanding of the fundamental processes and techniques of Project Management. We will also review leadership theories, and you will develop skills in interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, problem-solving, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and leadership. This course specifically focuses on developing relationships with stakeholders from a project management perspective.


In this course, your student team will be provided with industry-generated water project themes and develop a project based on a problem related to one of the themes. You will use all of your knowledge and skills gained in the first and second semesters of the program. To support project scoping, your student team must refine the project through facilitation with experts and applied research techniques. Ultimately, your student team will be responsible for preparing a project charter.

  • WATR 206

In this course, you will continue developing your project management skills from Applied Water Project Development. The skillsets you develop in this course will focus on project lifecycle phases: execution, monitoring, controlling and closing. You will be evaluated based on your ability to respond to project challenges related to scope, budget, schedule, resources, risk, communications, and quality. This course will also support your transition to the workforce through self-reflection, portfolio creation and career planning.

  • PROJ 210

In this course, small groups will plan, manage and monitor a capstone project integrating knowledge and skill sets developed throughout the IWM program. You will showcase your capstone project in written and oral communication to various audiences. You will also develop behaviours and skill sets that demonstrate professionalism.

  • DATA 200
  • TECH 200
  • WATR 204
  • PROJ 301

In this course, you will learn how to systematically evaluate risks by developing risk criteria, conducting a risk assessment, identifying measures to manage the risks and developing a risk management implementation plan. This course focuses on strategic planning and technical report writing with in-class working sessions related to the risk of drought in the Canadian Prairies and risks due to river flooding. Students will also be introduced to the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment process.

  • WATR 206

This course introduces fundamental techniques for collecting water-related data in the field, including navigation, surveying, and surface water and groundwater quantity measurements. For each field technique, students will conduct a hazard assessment. Students will be able to demonstrate techniques in a hands-on laboratory environment, which will be developed further in a natural setting in field school in a future course.

  • WATR 203
  • WATR 206

This course introduces hydrology, hydraulics and hydrogeology concepts, such as fluid dynamics, the water cycle, types of water bodies, watershed land-water interactions and the water balance. It will provide you with a foundation of knowledge and skills for later Integrated Water Management program courses. This course focuses on the analytical methods and calculations to support theory in water management.


This course will teach you about water-related ecosystems, including riparian, aquatic, and wetland ecosystems. For each ecosystem, you will consider critical components, beneficial functions and how to assess health. You will be introduced to plant and aquatic species identification, characterization of soils, conducting water quality tests, and riparian, wetland and lake assessments.

  • WATR 206

This course introduces water legislation in Alberta and Canada and how regulations and policies are implemented across jurisdictions, governing bodies and project types. Various water governance approaches and theories will also be explored. Specific project case studies and industry and government speakers will complement your theory classes.

  • WATR 206

This course introduces various components of managing water, including the balance between water supply and demand, human and industry influences on water management, water and wastewater treatment systems, surface runoff management systems and risks to water management from extreme conditions. This course focuses on concepts and strategies across water management involving interactive activities in a classroom-based setting and is supported by field visits within Calgary.


In this course, you will develop water-related climate change mitigation skills, such as forecasting (emergency scenarios and future water availability). The design of appropriate and resilient water management solutions will also be discussed.

  • DATA 200
  • TECH 200

In this course, you will expand your knowledge of the economic valuation of water and water management projects. The course covers fundamental economic concepts, including the interplay of supply and demand and pricing, assessments of alternatives, valuation of environmental goods and services, cost-benefit analysis, natural asset management, forecasting and data-driven decision-making.

  • WATR 206

In this course, you will explore new techniques that challenge existing water systems. You will be exposed to a range of innovations that are currently transforming or potentially transforming the water sector. You will be introduced to useful tools to support disruptive water management within lectures and labs. Since data collection technology tends to evolve rapidly, students will conduct a research project on emerging technologies in the water-related data field.

  • DATA 200
  • TECH 200

Choose one of the following courses.

Course Credits

In this course, you will apply theory and principles from the IWM program to projects common to an environmental specialization. The overarching themes include low-impact stormwater management, groundwater remediation, and erosion and sediment control. Topics will be introduced through lectures and readings and then applied through computer modelling using SWMM software, design scenarios and laboratory experiments.

  • INRY 301

You will be introduced to new industry applications of water management, such as water treatment selection, water disposal considerations and techniques, bioengineered wetlands for contaminant treatment, systems modelling and water-related disease control. Industry and field visits will complement course material. Completion of this elective will provide you with further specialization in the IWM program

  • INRY 301


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >


Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 60% in English Language Arts 30-2
  • at least 60% in Math 30-1 
  • at least 50% in Chemistry 20 or at least 50% in Physics 20 or at least 50% in Biology 20.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.


Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.


English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Transfer agreements

At SAIT, we evaluate post-secondary credit you have previously earned and apply it to your SAIT credential. Explore our formal transfer agreements available for this program.

We can evaluate your prior education, even if we don't have a formal agreement in place.

Submit a transfer credit application

There are no formal transfer agreements currently in place for this program.

Transfer options for graduates

Build on the knowledge you’ve learned at SAIT. The opportunity to advance your education at an accredited post-secondary institution may be available.

🔗 Visit Transfer Alberta search tool for a full list of transfer opportunities within the province.

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Extended
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024


2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $9,510 $1,608 $11,118
2 2 $9,510 $1,608 $11,118
Total cost:

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $27,690 $1,608 $29,298
2 2 $27,690 $1,608 $29,298
Total cost:

This program primarily uses open-source books, and most required supplies are provided. Thus, books and supplies are approximately $200 per year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

PPE is required in various labs. You'll need a lab coat and CSA-approved safety glasses (with uvex and side shields) to enter the chemistry labs.


Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the macphail.students@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.


Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

MacPhail School of Energy


International Student Advising

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.