Water agencies across San Diego County and California water associations offer multiple college scholarship opportunities in 2024 to help candidates secure their education as water and wastewater professionals.
The acceleration of industry retirements, as well as the increasing need for a skilled workforce trained to implement new technologies, result in an increased effort to develop more skilled individuals for water and wastewater industry jobs, including in San Diego County. For more information, visit sandiegowaterworks.org.
Scholarships are available for community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and graduate-level programs. The following examples are due in the coming weeks for study in the 2023-2024 academic school year.
San Diego regional water scholarships
Helix Water District will recognize two outstanding graduating high school seniors living within the district’s service area with $1,000 scholarships for university studies next fall.
The Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship and $1,000 Dr. Lillian M. Childs Scholarship honor two past leaders of Helix Water District. Friedgen retired in 1998 after 19 years as the district’s general manager and Childs retired in 1999 after 20 years on the board of directors.
Applicants must graduate in spring 2024 and attend a four-year college or university starting in fall 2024. Students submit a two-page essay exploring potable reuse and the East County Advanced Water Purification project. The scholarship committee reviews each applicant’s grades, extracurricular activities, volunteer and work experience, academic and career goals, and financial need.
Deadline: 5 p.m. on March 15, 2024. Learn more about eligibility and find the online application here.
Vista Irrigation District invites local high school seniors to compete for up to six scholarships from the District in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The purpose of the scholarship program is to increase knowledge and awareness of how water-related issues influence our daily activities.
Students who compete for a scholarship must complete an essay and provide a one-page personal statement related to their background and/or goals. Selection criteria also include community involvement or volunteer service, and letters of recommendation from high school faculty.
Applications must be received via email or at the district’s office by 4 p.m. on Friday February 23, 2024. Eligible students must live or go to school within the Vista Irrigation District service area. Find the application link here.
Vallecitos Water District invites local high school seniors and students at Palomar College and California State University San Marcos to compete for scholarships from the district. Up to six scholarships may be awarded in amounts up to $1,000 per scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage students to learn more about water-related issues impacting their community.
Eligible students must live or go to school within the Vallecitos Water District’s service area. Students must complete an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. Selection criteria also include community involvement or volunteer service, a financial needs worksheet, and letters of recommendation from faculty or an associate.
">Email Chris Robbins for application materials. Applications for the 2024 scholarship must be emailed or delivered to the District office by the deadline*. Note: The 2024 scholarship deadline has not yet been announced.
Sweetwater Authority’s “Work for Water” scholarships are now open for applications.
Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to new or currently enrolled students at the Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College or another accredited college, community college, or trade school with a career goal in the water industry.
The application deadline has not been determined. For questions regarding the scholarship, application, or uploading documentation, email or call Alessandra Angelone, Senior Public Affairs Representative, at (619) 409-6721.
The Mark Watton Scholarship Fund through the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges supports students attending the Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College. It honors former Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton’s four decades of service to the district.
Applicants must be currently enrolled for at least six units at Cuyamaca College, verify financial need, and complete the general application and essay. Scholarships of $1,000 are available. Application dates are March 25 to May 4, 2024.
In addition, National University partners with the San Diego County Water Authority to offer a 25% tuition reduction scholarship to employees and employees of all member water agencies. The San Diego County Water Authority Tuition Reduction Scholarship benefits working adults who want to reach specific educational goals but find it challenging to fit classes into their busy life. The tuition-reduction scholarship can be applied to most associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs. Click for more information.
Professional association scholarships
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) offers four undergraduate 2024 scholarships, one graduation 2024 scholarship and a fellowship opportunity to qualified applicants attending a University of California or California State University campus. Students must be juniors or seniors pursuing an undergraduate degree in a water-resources related field such as engineering, agriculture, environmental studies, or public administration. Criteria include scholastic achievement and motivation to the vocation of water-resources management.
ACWA began its scholarship programs in 1961 to motivate committed students to join the effort to ensure California’s water quality through sound management policies. The scholarship program is all about investing in future water leaders.
Deadline: March 1, 2024. Application Link. Questions? Call 916-441-4545 or email .
The California-Nevada section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) awards more than $20,000 in scholarships in support of students and professionals pursuing careers in a drinking water-related field. Two $5,000 graduate scholarships, four $2,500 undergraduate scholarships, and two $1,000 scholarships in support of training as a drinking water treatment/distribution operator are available.
Environmental and civil engineers; water, wastewater, and recycling treatment plant operators; distribution system operators; chemists; laboratory technicians; biologists, ecologists, and environmental scientists; and others whose roles support safe and reliable drinking water are all suitable 2024 scholarship candidates.
Deadline: March 15, 2024. Application Link. For information, call 909-481-7200 or email
The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Canham Graduate Studies 2024 scholarship provides $25,000 for a graduate student in the water environment field. The scholarship is for education-related expenses such as room and board, tuition, and books. The scholarship may not be used to cover stipends or wages.
The applicant must be a WEF member, complete an online application, and be enrolled in a graduate program. Recipients must commit to working in the water industry for two years following graduation.
Deadline: March 31, 2024. Apply online here. For questions, email