WRM-60309 Sustainable Land and Water Management in Spain


Credits 9.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical160
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)ing. H Boesveld
Lecturer(s)D Stoltenborg, MSc
LM Hommes
prof. dr. ir. RA Boelens
ing. H Boesveld
dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
dr. SD Keesstra
dr. ir. GE van Halsema
ir. CF Heijmans
dr. SE Werners
dr. ir. L Fleskens
dr. J Maroulis
ir. Nynke Post Uiterweer
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. RA Boelens

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

Students have passed WRM-32306 Research Approaches to Land and Water Management, and at least one of the following courses: SLM-30806 Land Degradation & Development; SLM-31306 Fundamentals of Land Management; WRM-34806 Irrigation and Development or ESS-33806 Integrated Water Management.

Assumed knowledge on:

We assume students have a general understanding of land and water management issues, achieved in the introductory WU BSc courses such as WRM-10306 Irrigation and Water Management and SLM-10306 Land Degradation and Remediation.

Continuation courses:

MSc Theses for the MSc International Land and Water Management.


In this course, students of different nationalities and disciplinary backgrounds work in small groups (4-5 students) on real life land or water management issues in the region of Valencia, Spain. Cases are identified with local and regional land and water management organisations and research institutions who will act as commissioners for the cases.
The course consists of four phases:
- phase 1: (Week 1-4; half days): Occurs at Wageningen University, where attention is paid to the specific land and water management problems in different watersheds in Valencia. Lectures and literature will focus on the technical and socio-organizational dimensions of land and water management, and contextualize problems within the framework of the institutional and policy environment. In small groups, students will develop and articulate their proposal;
- phase 2: (Week 5; full days): Consists of fieldwork in Spain with excursions, field practicals and the finalisation of the proposal;
- phase 3: (Week 6-7; full days): The next two weeks are spent on data collection, analysis, design of interventions;
- phase 4: (Week 8; full days): Students are expected to analyse the data, incorporate feedback from the commissioner, write a concise report, and give a presentation or deliver any other product agreed on with the commissioner. During all phases the students are coached on personal development, intercultural communication and team roles by the process coaches.

Learning outcomes:

This course is the final course of the first year of the MSc study International Land and Water Management, in which the theoretical concepts learned in earlier courses are further elaborated, integrated and applied in practice. Furthermore, the students will be trained in project management, teamwork and reflexive learning and design.
After successful completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:
- integrate and use knowledge from different disciplines to analyse a land and water management problem and set up, present and execute a research/project plan on the basis of their academic knowledge, skills and attitudes;
- determine with a team, and in communication with a commissioner, the goals of a project and formulate an interdisciplinary project plan;
- execute a project plan effectively at an appropriate academic level;
- investigate and analyse the relations between soil, water, land use and land management within the agro-ecological, socio-economic and political environment;
- analyse and assess the physical and socio-economic effects of land and water management interventions within a watershed, at various management levels;
- design, in collaboration with a commissioner, land and water measures or management and organizational concepts, and assess the performance of existing land and water infrastructure and management practices;
- develop practical skills in data collection and research methods;
- bring together and present field research plans and conclusions to the commissioner and to peers in a coherent manner, defend views and conclusions in a professional, academically appropriate and representative manner;
- implement and experience reflective- and team learning.


- to attend lectures and workshops;
- to prepare a research plan about land and water management and policies in Spain in consultation with commissioner;
- to implement several important land and water management field research methods;
- to carry out research concerning the effects of different land and water use systems;
- to present conclusions coherently to peers and commissioner.


Assessment is based on the quality of the proposal and research report, presentations, participation and personal development, and the team and individual process. A detailed assessment plan and assessment rubric will be used:
- personal development and self-assessment plan (Go/No Go);
- research/project proposal (15%);
- research/project report/product (40%);
- presentations proposal and final report (10%);
- research competence (10%);
- process: individual (20%);
- process: team (5%);
- contribution to Spain database (Pass/Fail).


- course reader;
- practical manual;
- proposal writing guidelines;
- reader Communication and Personal Development;
- study material and literature to be distributed during the course. All this material will be placed on MyPortal.

Compulsory for: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMSc6WD