SP 12: Academic Curriculum on Adaptive Water Management

Aim and Audience

A curriculum in Adaptive Water Management is available for teaching at universities at the Master’s and PhD levels. The teaching materials were published as downloadable modules on the internet for interested instructors of Environmental and Resources Management, Hydrology, Public Policy and other fields that may include studies in water resources management. The curriculum is available at www.newatereducation.nl.

The broader learning goals of this curriculum are to teach students about:

Although all teaching materials are available in English only, the curriculum is geared as much as possible to an international audience, with examples drawn from cases in variety of regions including developing countries. It is however acknowledged that teaching approaches vary among countries and regions, and that instructors may have to adapt the curriculum based on their own requirements and preferences.

The Curriculum

The online curriculum on Adaptive Water Management

The curriculum was developed as part of the training and education activities in the NeWater project (New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty) funded by the European Commission. The NeWater project has, among other goals, an explicit aim to provide an effective outreach mechanism for scientific results, methodologies and tools to various levels of stakeholders in the water sector, including education at the university level, policy and water management practitioners.

The curriculum has been implemented by the Institute of Environmental Systems Research at the University of Osnabrück, Alterra/Wageningen University and the Global  Water System Project.

The Modules

Modules include:

Examples from NeWater case studies including the Rhine, Guadiana, Tisza, Nile, Orange and Amu Darya river basins help illustrate approaches and areas of application. The modules were drawn primarily from the teaching materials prepared for the NeWater summer schools. They were tested on academics with some experience in teaching adaptive management, as well as students of related fields.

Module 1: Global change and Water Resources Module 2: Introduction to Adaptive Management and IWRM
  • Global change and water resources
  • Climate change and variability
  • Climate extremes: droughts and floods
  • Availability, use and scarcity of water resources
  • Water, climate and development
  • Basic concepts of Adaptive Management and Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Resilience and adaptive capacity
  • Water policy mechanisms
  • Uncertainty (analysis) and its role in water management
Module 3: Adaptive Management  Tools and Methods Module 4: Managing Transitions to Adaptive Management
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Governance regimes
  • Participatory processes
  • Group model building
  • Performance indicators
  • Information gathering and monitoring systems
  • Integrating economics in Adaptive Management
  • Role of transitions management
  • Socio-economic barriers to change
  • Institutional barriers to change
  • Learning processes in facilitating change
  • Managing change for effective river basin management
  • Role of European Water Framework Directive


For more information: Caroline van Bers, cvbers[at]usf.uos.de


Short introduction to the online curriculum
167 kbMr. Stefan Riffert2009-03-05 14:37:58