• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Daniel Connell
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Participants in this course will gain an overview of the wide range of controversies involved in the ‘world water crisis’ and acquire a good understanding of a particular issue that they choose to research in depth. Over the past 10,000 years - the geological period of the Holocene – we have taken advantage of unusually stable climatic conditions to transform what is possible for our species. We tamed animals, developed agriculture, cities and nation states, learned to fly and expanded our numbers from a few million to over seven billion. New water technologies were essential for these changes and most of the world's hydrological systems have been significantly modified to increase our potential to supply food, generate energy, create transport routes and contain risks such as drought and flood. Continued enjoyment of those benefits, however, requires complex and continual human management. We have also disrupted the climate to such an extent that the planet is entering a new geological period, the Anthropocene Age, and many adverse climate change impacts are being experienced through water related events, droughts, floods, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, hurricanes and cyclones. The course focuses on the management of modified hydrological systems on a drastically modified planet - rivers, lakes, groundwater aquifers and tidal zones - where the the distribution of costs and benefits reflect political decisions that have serious consequences for the future of nations, communities and individuals. Case studies used in the course will consider trans-formative and disruptive technologies, the politics of cross-border rivers and large deltas, unsustainable groundwater extraction, policy capture by powerful stakeholders, the environmental, cultural and social impacts of water markets, debates about dams and other large water infrastructure, acid mine drainage, arsenic in groundwater,  public participation, gender, environmental refugees, sustainability (what is it?) and the roles of national governments and institutions such as the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of this course, students should be able to:

1.  Understand the technical challenges and political/ethical issues involved in managing modified hydrological systems under development and climate change pressures.

2. Analyse the water related dimensions of related policy spheres such as energy, food production, industrial development, transport etc.

3. Evaluate characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of a range of academic disciplines in their treatment of water related issues.

4. Work in a participatory seminar based educational environment.

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Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3061 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View
3693 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 Online View

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