• Class Number 4647
  • Term Code 3250
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Ana Manero
    • Dr Ana Manero
    • Dr Kat Taylor
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 29/08/2022
  • Class End Date 16/10/2022
  • Census Date 09/09/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 05/09/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course explores key challenges and debates in contemporary water governance and how these relate to water (in)justice. Water is critical for all life, as well as agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and other industries. As water demand grows, systems are increasingly stressed through modification by dams, pollution and climate change. Longstanding approaches to water management have been driven by the techno-engineering solutions, while more recent paradigms aim to integrate human rights and environmental conservation.

The course, Water Justice examines how water’s benefits and costs are shared and by whom. It applies a water justice lens by drawing on the diverse literatures on social justice, environmental justice, settler-colonial relations, and gender studies. Students will consider links between water (in)justices and other forms of social inequality, and examine issues of power, conflict and equity. They will also reflect upon relevant water governance concepts including management, policy, decision-making and infrastructure. The politics that underpin water decision-making will also be examined, particularly the challenges and approaches for more equitable representation of diverse interests across communities and nations in water governance, and a fairer distribution of costs and benefits. Learning will take place through case studies that will explore politics of transboundary water bodies, unsustainable groundwater extraction, policy capture by powerful stakeholders, conflicts around water markets, and debates about dams and other large water infrastructure, among others. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the technical and governance challenges involved in managing water under increasing human demands and climate change pressures.
  2. Understand the interconnections between water, society and Socio-technical systems (such as energy and food), and how these can shape water governance.
  3. Analyse and critique various rationales for water management, with reference to their historical and geographical contexts.
  4. Critically assess water justice frameworks, and their relationship to similar concepts, such as equity and fairness.
  5. Apply a water justice lens to critically evaluate water management plans, water policies and decision-making processes.

Research-Led Teaching

The course's pre-recorded lectures provide an overview of fundamental concepts, linking to key academic research. Readings will provide students with an opportunity to critically engage with foundational and current research across the topics. In addition to live lectures with the course conveners, students will attend live guest lectures with leading water researchers and practitioners.

Field Trips


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Readings will be provided on Wattle

Readings will be provided on the course site on Wattle

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Monday 5th September Introduction: welcome and course overview Topic 1: Introduction: What is water justice?
2 Tuesday 6th September Topic 2: Competing uses as drivers of water inequity and injustice
3 Wednesday 7th September Topic 3: Justice dimensions of climate change and water infrastructure
4 Friday 9th September Topic 4: Domestic water: The human right to water and sanitation
5 Monday 12th September: Topic 5: What is getting in the way of water justice?
6 Tuesday 13th September Topic 6: Water management & governance approaches
7 Wednesday 14th September Topic 7: Counter- discourses & water justice framework review
8 Friday 16th September Wrap up, feedback. How to achieve water justice?
9 Study days One study day is scheduled per week (Thursday 8th and Thursday 15th September). Please use this time to revise and prepare for upcoming classes.

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Design of a mini-quiz (200-500 words) 10 % 04/09/2022 08/09/2022 2, 4
Commentary piece: water justice issues (800 words) 25 % 11/09/2022 16/09/2022 1,2,3
Structured academic debate 25 % 13/09/2022 16/09/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Research Essay on water justice (2,000 words) 40 % 02/10/2022 02/12/2022 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are strongly encouraged to attend all classes, including guest lectures. Students are asked to prepare thoroughly for class and to actively participate during live sessions. We understand an intensive course can be demanding, but we trust students to make their best effort to be actively present. We will not attach a mark for participation.


No examinations

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 04/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 08/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2, 4

Design of a mini-quiz (200-500 words)

Write a water justice mini-quiz consisting of three questions. The quiz should be based on topics 1 and 2 of this course (topics are ‘What is water (in)justice?’ and ‘Competing uses as drivers of water inequity and injustice’). In this assessment, instead of students answering questions, students will have to create such questions. Try to think of it in this way: after reviewing Topics 1 and 2, how would you test other students' knowledge on the topics?

To complete this assessment:

a) Write three quiz questions using the following format:

·       One true/false question;

·       One multiple choice question (include the multiple choice answers); and

·       One question requiring a short written answer.

b) For each quiz question, provide a brief (3-4 sentences) written explanation of the:

·       Answer to the question;

·       Why you chose this question;

·       Which course reading(s) and other materials are relevant to the quiz question.

Combining the questions and explanations, the assignment should consist of 200 to 500 words.

The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to review the required materials prior to the start of the course and become familiar with key concepts of water justice. Thus, the assessment will need to demonstrate engagement with readings and pre-recorded lectures. Further, the quiz questions will need to demonstrate critical thinking and originality. The answers to the questions should not be obvious, but they should be based upon the knowledge gained upon review of Topics 1 and 2.

Students are required to use an appropriate academic citation style. See ANU's referencing guide here . We ask students to use the Crawford referencing style or APA 7th . If you would like to use a different style, please let us know which and why.

Learning Outcomes: 2, 4

Value: 10 %

Rubric TBA in Wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 11/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 16/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Commentary piece: water justice issues (800 words)

Write an opinion piece on water justice as if you were writing for an online media outlet, such as Global Water Forum (GWF), Policy Forum or The Conversation. See examples here, here and here. If you wish to do so, upon completion of the course, you may consider submitting the piece for publication in a media outlet. A good quality commentary piece is often highly regarded in a professional and academic CV.

The intent is to write about water justice for a generalist audience using simple, engaging, language. Minimise jargon. The piece should be under 800 words.

To complete the assessment, identify two key issues from the course readings or lectures that have stood out to you. These may include relevance to the place that you are from, your core discipline and/or your current or future work. Based on the two selected issues, the commentary piece should contain:

·       A summary of the issues and how they relate to each other

·       An analysis of the water justice issues and impacts

·       Reflection on why it is important at a global scale

·       Your view on the way forward or solution

·       A conclusion about the significance of these issues, putting them into the global context (e.g. why should the readers care about this case study? Can the insights be applied to other regions?)

Please refer to the course readings. However, the opinion piece must be more than a summary of a reading and should provide a new perspective or analysis or combine topics in a new way. Although the examples provided have no citations (jut links), in the assessment students are required to use an appropriate academic citation style. See ANU's referencing guide here . We ask students to use the Crawford referencing style or APA 7th . If you would like to use a different style, please let us know which and why.

Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Value: 25 %

Rubric TBA in Wattle

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 13/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 16/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Structured academic debate

Assessment #3 consists of a structured academic debate, to be held in class, in groups. In preparation for the debate, students will be asked to formulate a series of key points to defend a particular argument. The purpose of the ‘structured academic debate’ assessment is to encourage students to think critically about water justice, whilst considering multiple viewpoints through an academic lens.

To start the assessment, students will be given a water justice topic and asked to find arguments to argue either in favour or against it. Based on the course materials and other high-quality sources, students will be asked to find and explain three key points in favour/against the argument. These key points should be summarised in writing in under 300 words (in total, for the three points). This written component of the assessment must be submitted on the eve of the academic debate to be held in class.

On the day of the debate, students will be grouped by the topic and the side of the argument to which they have been allocated. In class, the groups (around five students each) will be given 30 minutes to share their ideas and agree on the top three arguments to support their position. Then, teams working on the same topic, but on opposite sides of the argument will be invited to the debate. In turns, each student in each group will have three minutes to defend their group’s position.

Upon completion of the debates, students will be asked to reflect on the contributions of the opposite team and summarise learning from the counter-arguments. These learnings are to be summarised in under 300 words.

The assessment will be marked based on the depth and breadth of the arguments demonstrating a critical analysis that engages with the literature and demonstrates the learning outcomes. It is fundamental to demonstrate an engagement in critical thinking that is based on solid arguments, but staying away from clichés.  

To recap, deliverables include:

-       Written statement (under 300 words) exposing and defending three key points in favour/against your assigned topic.

-       Oral defence of your position.

-       Written reflection (under 300 words) on learnings from the opposing side of the debate.

Students are required to use an appropriate academic citation style. See ANU's referencing guide here . We ask students to use the Crawford referencing style or APA 7th . If you would like to use a different style, please let us know which and why.

Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Value: 25%

Rubric TBA in Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 02/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay on water justice (2,000 words)

Assessment #4 consists of a research essay about water justice.

To complete this assessment, please start by selecting a case study based on a country, region or jurisdiction. In the essay, provide a brief description of the case study, including context about the current water situation (learning outcome #1). For an in-depth analysis, select on one key aspect of the water management/governance to focus your essay on (learning outcome #1). This aspect should be the central point of your essay, but it is important to demonstrate how it is interlinked to other issues (learning outcome #2). To help your analysis, choose a water justice framework(s) or analytical lens and apply it to critically evaluate the relevant water management policies and/or governance framework (learning outcomes 3, 4 and 5).

If you wish so, for the essay, you may choose the same or similar topic as for your commentary piece or the debate. In such case, it is expected that the essay provides further insights and critical analysis than what has been submitted before.

To successfully complete the assessment, make sure your essay answers the following questions:

  • What is the focus of your case study? (e.g. drinking water access, wastewater treatment, flood management, access to sanitation facilities or water for farm irrigation, etc. Do not try to cover everything).
  • What is the main water management and/or governance approach in this country/region (relevant to your case study)?
  • What water justice framework or analytical lens will you use for the analysis, and why? (What about the framework is useful or relevant? Were other frameworks unsuitable or inappropriate? Refer to the literature.)
  • What are the key water justice issues in the case study?
  • How is the historical/political/cultural context reflected in the water (in)justice issues?
  • What are the major impediment for greater water justice in this area?
  • How could greater water justice outcomes be achieved?

Students are required to use an appropriate academic citation style. See ANU's referencing guide here . We ask students to use the Crawford referencing style or APA 7th . If you would like to use a different style, please let us know which and why.

Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Value: 40%

Rubric TBA in Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

No hard copy submissions will be part of this course.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Ana Manero
02 6125 0574

Research Interests

Ana is a research fellow at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, working on water economics and governance. Ana’s current research is focused on improving the understanding and valuation of water resources, for resilient decision-making and greater water justice. Ana also holds an adjunct research fellow position at the University of Western Australia.

Ana completed her PhD at the ANU in 2018, thesis title: Water distribution within smallholder irrigation schemes in Tanzania and its implications for economic inequality. Originally from Spain, Ana has studies and worked France, Italy, the USA (Master Thesis at University of California Berkeley) and Tanzania (PhD fieldwork). Ana holds a PhD in agricultural economics (Australian National University) and B.Sc. and M. Sc. civil and environmental engineering (UPC-Barcelona and ENPC-Paris).

Prior to completing her PhD, Ana worked for six years as a water engineer in the private and public sectors in Europe and across Australia.

Research interests

• Natural Resource Management

• Economic Development And Growth

• Sustainable Agricultural Development

• Environment And Resource Economics

Dr Ana Manero

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Ana Manero
02 6125 0574

Research Interests

Dr Ana Manero

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Kat Taylor

Research Interests

Dr Kat Taylor

By Appointment

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