Water security gets the academic treatment with new university course

Posted 3 April 2017

UniversityIn a world of increasing scarcity, we will need to draw on appropriate water security and governance strategies, both in Australia and across the region.

In recognition of this fact, the University of Adelaide has set up a new course that aims to provide the breadth of knowledge and understanding needed to implement these measures effectively. 

“We're not really heading down a path any more of building dams or increasing our engineering responses to water management,” said course creator and lecturer Dr Adam Loch.

“Increasingly we're looking at economic or other demand-incentive type instruments to manage scarce water.”

The course will be offered to existing students in the Masters of Global Food and Agribusiness programs, and extended to any interested water professionals. 

Loch said it was possibly the first time that such an extensive range of issues – governance, management, complex socio-economic and political issues, as well as individual, public and private water trading issues – had been covered in the one course.

“We could see some aspects of water management in engineering courses, some in geography schools, but not necessarily the context of the broader governance issues … nothing where all of this was married together the way it is here,” Loch said.

“I'm happy to be proven wrong but I believe that it's unique.”

He hoped the course will have a positive effect on the region, with 80-90% of the students in the masters programs coming from the APAC region.

“Institutionally and governance-wise, these countries are still at very early stages of their development, so we're hoping that those students will go back to their home countries with a great deal of knowledge and ability to inform the processes there,” Loch said. 

The course will be delivered in July and August, but the university will look to meet demand with additional offerings.