Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800017
Water Footprint Assessment
Course infoSchedule
Course module201800017
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact J.F. Schyns
Examiner H.J. Hogeboom
Contactperson for the course H.J. Hogeboom
Contactperson for the course J.F. Schyns
Examiner J.F. Schyns
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
At the end of this course, students are able to:
  • describe and apply main concepts from the field of Water Footprint Assessment;
  • explain the global dimension of water use and allocation;
  • explain and simulate how different agricultural water management strategies affect crop water footprints;
  • 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
  • Globalization of water roleplay
  • Green, blue and grey water footprint accounting
  • The water-food and water-energy nexus
  • Water footprint sustainability assessment
  • Crop water footprint modelling   
  • Tensions between sustainability, efficiency, equity and security
  • Water footprint response options  
  • The water footprint of nations
  • Policy relevance of WFA
  • Corporate WFA and water stewardship
This course is assessed by means of a graded written exam (50%) at the end of the quartile (minimum grade 5.5), a graded group assignment (50%) and two compulsory individual assignments (pass/fail).
Participating study
Master Civil Engineering and Management
Required materials
Course material
Hoekstra, A.Y. et al. (2011) The water footprint assessment manual: Setting the global standard, Earthscan, London. ISBN9781849712798 (free pdf version available online; hardcover version can be bought at the ET-MWM secretariat at a discount).
Course material
Hoekstra, A.Y. (2020) The water footprint of modern consumer society, Second Edition, Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138354784 (check free e-book version availability via UT library; paperback can be bought at the ET-MWM secretariat at a discount)
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Written examination & (group) assignment

Kies de Nederlandse taal