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Freshwater resource management course for Stanford University students

In November, the International WaterCentre (IWC) and The University of Queensland (UQ) delivered a special freshwater resource management course for students from the prestigious Stanford University (USA).
Freshwater resource management course for Stanford University students

Students working on a bank restoration project (Bulimba Creek) with B4C

This course was designed to introduce the students to what is becoming the norm in contemporary water management – deliberately integrated, systemic and collaborative approaches to tackling complex 21st century water-related challenges. These may be related to improving water security, balancing the demands of societies with those of their surrounding ecosystems, or improving access to water, sanitation or hygiene in a sustainable way.

Stanford course 2015

“First, the course engages students to think about what complexity is, and how it has to be managed through taking integrative, systemic and collaborative approaches. Second, the course provides them with a set of skills and knowledge about how to frame, assess and argue for measures to improve urban water security from both supply and demand side perspectives. Third, it gives them an understanding of the complexity of addressing the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) challenges facing the developing world and the role of integrated, collaborative approaches to improving access to improved WASH,” said Dr Brian McIntosh, IWC’s Senior Lecturer and Education Manager.

The 9-day course consists of lectures around tackling complex water management problems, developing water mass balance models, managing water supply and demand to improve urban water security and introducing WASH approaches and technologies in response to international crises. Field trips to the Brisbane river catchment and a local wetland restoration project are also included in the program.

It is the second time that IWC and UQ have been working with Stanford University students after a special integrated water management module was successfully delivered in 2013. 

Stanford University ranks 3rd worldwide according to the 2015/16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

More information

Learn more about IWC's integrated water management education and training programs.


Published 9 December 2015.



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