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People who enjoy problem solving, working with others, and travel will find great enjoyment as an irrigation consultant. Irrigation is a term used to describe the management of water and draining systems. This role has three primary aspects: planning, project management, and professional advice.
There is no specific post-secondary education program in irrigation. Typically, irrigation consultants have completed a training program as a landscape architect or landscaping technician. As there are no educational requirements, some consultants have gained their knowledge through work experience in a range of positions in irrigation. Technical drawing skills are an absolute requirement in this position. There is a range of short courses in technical drawing or the use of AutoCAD® programs available at the community college level.
Irrigation is an integral part of any construction project, both on a short-and long-term basis. Many construction projects install irrigation systems to improve the drainage of the site, redirecting the water collection away from the actual digging site to other areas of the property. On a long-term basis, proper irrigation planning is part of draining and water management.
Construction projects of any size require a significant amount of planning. Irrigation consultants are typically involved at the beginning of the project and the end. At the beginning, the irrigation consultant provides topographical maps, identified underground water tables, and an irrigation plan. There are multiple meetings with the architects, site managers, and licensing staff to ensure the plan is approved. At the end of the project, he or she revisits the site to confirm the end result and make any adjustments as required.
Irrigation consultants have project management responsibilities for the actual irrigation project. As this is usually a short consulting assignment, all information must be relayed to the construction project engineer to ensure continuation during other stages of the project. Working as a member of the construction team, the irrigation consultant is ultimately responsible for a specific set of tasks related to the irrigation project. Coordination of staff, resources, and communication of changes to the rest of the team is critical.
The other role for irrigation consultants is the creation of professional advice reports. These reports are typically required by government agencies or other licensing bodies. The purpose of the report is to provide a professional, unbiased opinion of the irrigation options, benefits, risks, and long-term implications. This type of report is typically requested two to three years before building plans are submitted, as the information provided determines what type of structure the site can support.