At the end of this course, students are able to
- describe the complex relations between freshwater and the functioning of societies and economies;
- explain the global dimension of water use and allocation;
- apply main concepts from the field of Water Footprint Assessment;
- carry out a Water Footprint Assessment for a country, river basin or product;
- examine the links between water management and other policy domains (e.g., spatial planning, agriculture, energy, trade) and their consequences for policy making;
- recommend water management strategies in view of specific development objectives;
- assess the roles of various stakeholders toward sustainable water management;
- formulate a vision on what is sustainable, efficient and equitable allocation and use of freshwater.
The course Water Footprint Assessment intends for its participants to develop an understanding and appreciation of the intricate and complex relations between freshwater and the functioning of societies and economies at large. Taking the scientific field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) as a starting point, participants will critically reflect on the role different stakeholders (including governments, companies, farmers, investors and consumers) have in achieving sustainable, efficient, and equitable use of freshwater systems. The course is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach, in which knowledge and techniques from different disciplines and domains are brought together, to arrive at an integral understanding of the impact human activities have on freshwater systems and, vice versa, the societal and economic impact of freshwater scarcity and pollution. Substantial attention will be paid to the global and cross-sectoral dimensions of water management.
The course includes the following elements:
- Introduction to WFA and its main concepts
- Green, blue and grey water footprint (WF) accounting
- The water-food and water-energy nexus
- Nexus serious game
- WF sustainability assessment
- Environmental flow requirements
- Tensions between sustainability, efficiency, equity and security
- WF response options
- Virtual water flows and the water footprint of nations
- Globalization of Water roleplay
- Policy relevance of WFA
- Corporate WFA
This course is assessed by means of a graded written exam (75%) at the end of the quartile (minimum grade 5.5), a graded group assignment (25%) and two compulsory individual assignments (pass/fail).