WSG-33806 Integrated Water Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
dr. K Kok
dr. A Dewulf
dr. SE Werners
Examiner(s)dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

AEW-21306 Soil and Water II.


All over the world human societies are intervening in river basin water flows. More and more these interventions reduce or exceed the carrying capacity of water systems. And climate change is expected to aggravate this. To improve management of our water resources, now and in the future, we need to better understand interactions between human interventions and water system functioning.
The IWM course addresses such interactions by discussing water management issues characterized by ambiguities in problem definition and uncertainties in knowledge, and by multiple governance contexts and upstream-downstream connections.
You will acquire the capacity to analyze such issues and to propose and critically assess research strategies. To do so systems thinking approaches to water management research are taught and you learn how to define relevant research questions.
Integrated Water Management issues around Wageningen are used as illustrations throughout the course. But the course does not limit itself to the Wageningen context. Integrated water management is an approach with many faces. The understanding of a small farmer in Peru, for instance, will be completely different from that of an international river basin manager in Europe. As integrated water management is context dependent, you will learn to identify underlying assumptions and traditions. And you will be able to apply your analysis skills and your knowledge on methodologies in other continents and situations.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- to critically reflect on different definitions of integrated and adaptive water management;
- explain systems thinking approaches and methods that play a role in integrated and adaptive water management;
- analyze complex, multi scale and multi stakeholder water issues from a researchers perspective;
- formulate a sound problem statement and research questions for an integrated or adaptive water management issue.


The course aims at finding a healthy balance between lectures and practicals, with tasks related to the lectures. Lectures are given by staff from the Water Systems and Global Change and Public Administration and Policy groups, and guest lectures from water management organizations (ministry, water board, consultancy). Students are asked to study water management issues around Wageningen through field visits and interviewing of local stakeholders (two bike excursions will be made). And students will propose an integrated water management research using Wageningen water management issues and applying methodologies presented in the course, with emphasis on sound problem definitions and research question formulation.


Every second Friday during lectures there will be a written examination about lectures and literature (mean of three examinations counts for 60%; minimum 5.5). The remainder is a research proposal (40 %; minimum 5.5).


Slides and literature are provided in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScC: Adaptive Water Management2AF
Restricted Optional for: MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMSc2AF
MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScD: Flexible Configurations for Innovative Minds
MESEnvironmental SciencesMScD: Human-Environmental Systems2AF
MCLClimate StudiesMScD: Human-Environment Interactions2AF