Water Resource Management and Policy
The objective of this MOOC is to develop an understanding of the problems related to water management. Firstly, this course will define a resource and, more specifically, the resource of water. It will look at how water is used and the activities associated with it as well as any potential conflicts. The course will look at water management in detail through the analysis of the different types of rights and obligations associated with, for example, the development of a multi-sectorial regulation system or a watershed management approach.
The main focus of this course will be to address water management issues and, within the context of climate change, to gain a better understanding of what the future of water will look like. Drawing on the work of Elinor Ostrom through this course you will examine several examples of how the commodity is managed: by the state, by industry or by the community. The course consists of 5 modules, where for each there is an exam which constitutes 20% of the final grade.
By the end of this course, you will be able to :
1) Identify the main issues and strategies linked to water resource management
2) Acquire the key reading material needed to understand the many variables (environmental, institutional and political) which affect water and which, in terms of management, may require adjustment.
Comment from our editors:
As Prof. Geraldine Pflieger emphasizes in the introductory video, only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater and this 3% must meet the needs of 7 billion people. The demands are varied - from hydropower and fishing to irrigation and drinking water. And all these uses are facing new threats. Climate change, accelerated by human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, seriously affect water resources.
Along the course will be found integrated the four ontological problems of economics: scarcity, uncertainty, dominance and change. Challenges such as climate change coupled with the effects of human activity mean those responsible for managing water resources have a more challenging task on their hands in an even more unpredictable environment. As a result, private and public stakeholders must collaborate to help develop ways to manage the water cycle collectively, as a whole. Water resources management enables the effective management of water resources across all water uses, disciplines and even boundaries. According to the World Bank, WRM is the “process of planning, developing, and managing water resources, in terms of both water quantity and quality, across all water uses”. It includes the institutions, infrastructure, incentives, and information systems that support and guide water management. The dynamics of the course will range from explaining the concept of water resources management to integrated water resources management.