WSG-33806 Integrated Water Management


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
M del Pozo Garcia
dr. A Dewulf
dr. K Kok
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 water systems. More and more these interventions reduce or exceed the carrying capacity of our rivers, lakes, wetlands, etc. And climate change will aggravate this. To improve management of our water resources, we need to better understand interactions between human interventions and water system functioning.
The IWM course addresses such interactions by analysing water management from local urban water to transboundary river levels, characterised by messy problems and uncertainties in knowledge.
You will acquire the capacity to analyse such messy situations and to propose and critically assess research strategies. To do so dimensions of integration are identified and systems thinking approaches are used. We put emphasis on the creation of sound problem statements for research and definition of relevant research questions.

In the first two weeks Integrated Water Management issues around Wageningen are used as illustrations. 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 or from other scale levels. As integrated water management is context dependent, you will learn to identify assumptions, approaches and traditions in different situations. And you will be able to apply your analysis skills and your knowledge on methodologies in other continents and at different spatial and governance scale levels.

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).

The first two weeks we invite you to experience integrated water management by doing a photo marathon and by doing interviews. During the photo marathon you are expected to go out in or around Wageningen and take pictures of typical water issues. The interviews will be conducted with people involved in local Wageningen water issues. The interviews will be held at a farm house in The Binnenveld near Wageningen in group sessions. We will take time to reflect on your experiences and connect those to literature on integrated water management and problem framing.
The second two weeks lectures will introduce you in systems thinking approaches to integrated water management research. We will use integrated water management research examples from different countries, as material and use this to explain conceptual approaches used. Part of this block is dedicated to an exercise in conceptual modelling (called fuzzy cognitive systems). You will get the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and to translate this towards the research proposal you are writing.
And the last two week period is focused on application of your acquired knowledge in water policies and research. EU water policies and transboundary river management are used as examples.


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.

Verplicht voor: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScC: Spec. C - Adaptive Water Management2AF
Keuze voor: MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMSc2AF
MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScD: Spec. D - Flexible Configurations for Innovative Minds2AF
MESEnvironmental SciencesMScD: Spec. D - Human-Environmental Systems2AF
MCLClimate StudiesMScD: Spec. D - Human-Environment Interactions2AF