The WET Center’s history dates back to the 1990’s, when local industries began selling products developed for the irrigation industry’s needs to meet other industry demands. CIT had established an international reputation for irrigation testing but the activities did not reflect the need for testing of other water products. The stature of an irrigation testing center, as compared to a water testing center, was thought to be restrictive. In addition, CIT was also beginning to attract customers from other industries. In 2001, the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) was established to work in collaboration with CIT.
The new role of ICWT required an expansion of the testing facility. At the same time, the Central Valley Business Incubator was in the process of developing a water-related incubator. Board members of both organizations saw the potential synergy in having ag, water, and energy technology entrepreneurs housed in the new incubator as well as having the availability of testing capabilities and tech-savvy staff in a close environment with one another – and thanks to Fresno State, who donated the land, this idea came to fruition.
Construction of a 13,000 sq. ft. incubator and hydraulic research and testing facility on the Fresno State campus began in 2000 with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The building opened for business in 2007.