• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ana Manero
    • Dr Kat Taylor
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Spring Session 2023
    See Future Offerings

On-campus & remote (online) learning available. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2023 class dates are 20 Nov to 1 Dec

This course explores key challenges and debates in contemporary water management and governance and how these relate to water (in)justice. This transdisciplinary course draws on geography, economics, social and environmental sciences and policy to cover the following topics:

·        What is water justice?: key frameworks and links to water rights, equity and fairness; justice theory;

·        Competing uses as drivers of water (in)justice: Interconnections between water, social justice and socio-technical systems such as energy and food;

·        Justice dimensions of climate change and water infrastructure: environmental; distribution of costs and benefits; water pollution

·        Human right to water and sanitation: SDG 6 and interconnection with other SDGs, gaps in drinking water access in the Global North

·        Barriers to water justice: water and conflict

·        Water management & governance approaches: Indigenous and decolonial critiques;

·        Water justice counter- discourses: review and critique of exiting governance models; co-governance and legal pluralism


The course combines research-based teaching by the conveners and guest lecturers with interactive learning activities. Over two weeks, participants will be encouraged to use their knowledge and experiences as a foundation for exploring diverse perspectives of ‘water justice’ in order to develop their capability to work in transdisciplinary fields. Students are invited to construct their own understanding of ‘water justice’ by interpreting the literature and, where relevant, contextualising it within their own experience of water injustice. Students will have the opportunity to gain insights into First Nations’ perspectives through the course readings and, when available, guest lectures. At the end of the course, students will be able to apply critical thinking skills to critique water management frameworks and policies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and explain key water justice, management and governance concepts.
  2. Examine and critique water management and governance approaches using one or multiple water justice framework(s).
  3. Construct well-informed arguments to support/critique controversial water justice and management questions.
  4. Develop and defend original arguments and own viewpoints about contemporary water justice issues.
  5. Reflect on how water justice learnings can be implemented into students' own future professional/academic endeavours.

Other Information

This course replaces previously offered course, 'Water Conflicts' and 'Water Politics on a Modified Planet'.

 This is an intensive course. Content will be delivered through pre-recoded and live lectures. Live lectures will be delivered four days a week, with one study day in the middle of the week. Lectures are scheduled for the morning – with some variability for guest lectures, field visits, etc.

 We understand the need to juggle work and personal commitments, and it is for this reason that live lectures will be recorded and posted on Wattle for students to catch up, if they have missed a session. However, it is expected that, for most of the time, students will be present during live lectures and in-class activities, over the two weeks of the course. If you are interested in taking this course but you cannot attend either online or in-person (i.e., you plan to be mostly asynchronous), please contact the course conveners in advance before enrolling. This will help plan the delivery schedule for best learning outcomes. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Review of basic concepts (mini-quizz) (10) [LO 1]
  2. Commentary piece (800 words) (25) [LO 2,3,4]
  3. Structured academic debate (20 minutes) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research Essay (3,000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements


Prescribed Texts

  • Topic 1: Introduction: What is water justice?

McGregor, D. (2013). Indigenous Women, Water Justice and Zaagidowin (Love). Canadian woman studies, 30 (2/3), 71. https://cws.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/cws/article/viewFile/37455/34003

Zwarteveen, M. Z., & Boelens, R. (2014). Defining, researching and struggling for water justice: some conceptual building blocks for research and action. Water International, 39(2), 143-158. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2014.891168

Sultana, F. (2018). Water justice: why it matters and how to achieve it. Water International, 43(4), 483-493. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2018.1458272

  • Topic 2: Competing uses as drivers of water inequity and injustice

Manero, A., & Wheeler, S. A. (2021). Perceptions of Tanzanian smallholder irrigators on impact pathways between water equity and socioeconomic inequalities. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2020.1866506    

Simpson, G. B., & Jewitt, G. P. W. (2019). The Development of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus as a Framework for Achieving Resource Security: A Review. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7(8). https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2019.00008

Grafton, R. Q. (2019). Policy review of water reform in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia: the “do's” and “do'nots”. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 63(1), 116-141. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8489.12288 https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8489.12288  

  • List continues to Topics 3- 7


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4560
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
6504 20 Nov 2023 21 Nov 2023 24 Nov 2023 15 Dec 2023 In Person View
6505 20 Nov 2023 21 Nov 2023 24 Nov 2023 15 Dec 2023 Online View

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