Sustainable Water Management in Africa

19 Apr 2017 - 10:30

Apply now! IARU Global Summer Program interdisciplinary course at UCT: Sustainable Water Management in Africa.

17 - 28 July 2017. Cape Town, South Africa.

This course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to examine the current water crises, trends and conditions in developing countries. It critically engages with the technical, social, cultural, economic, political, economic and environmental challenges of water demand, supply and treatment with an understanding of the role of water in society and in sustaining livelihoods. Further, it addresses the need to derive maximum benefit from each water resource used while incurring minimum burden and the need to secure “new taps” in a water sensitive urban design context.

Field Trip:
A field trip will be included in which an analysis of water demand and supply in a small country town will be integrated with a survey of the impact of water supply, demand, quality and equitable distribution on sustainable livelihoods.

Target Audience:
The course will be offered as an inter-disciplinary postgraduate course that will benefit from a cohort of students of diverse educational backgrounds. The course is also open to other individuals interested in Sustainable Water Management in Africa.

All candidates will be required to hold a primary degree, equivalent to a 4-year degree in South Africa and to be able to communicate well in English. Third year students are also welcome to apply.

Learning outcomes:

  • A working knowledge of urban water management.
  • A working knowledge of water scarcity, its link to climate change and its impact on developing nations.
  • An understanding of key technologies for water supply, demand and quality, and their intrinsic link to the water-food-energy nexus.
  • An appreciation for the circular economy and the nature of technologies under development to support it.
  • An appreciation for the deep-seated role of water, its availability and its quality in the social fabric and the under-pinning of sustainable livelihood with an appreciation of the impact of culture, privilege and inequality.
  • Engagement with IDTD research paradigm and role in integrated water management.

Credits and Contact Hours:

  • 24 credits (This notionally equates to 240 hours of study time – 80 hours of which will be direct / contact time with the students [60 hours in lectures and 20 hours on the field trip]; and 160 hours of which the students are expected to spend on self-study. We generally assume a 2:1 ratio of self-study to contact time in these sorts of courses).
  • 60 total contact hours (classroom)
  • Approximately 20 field-trip hours (excluding self-study hours)
  • The course will run over a 12-day period (Mon through to Fri week) with the Saturday and Sunday as a free day.
  • The field trip will occupy a two-day period, out of Cape Town.
  • All other days will be run as a 7 hour contact day, with the expectation of some preparatory self-study on 5 evenings.

Course Content:

Themes Sessions
Introduction to Global Water Problems 0.5
The Political Economy of Water 1
The water landscape in South Africa as an example of a water-scarce developing nation 1
Water and Socio-Cultural Relations 2
Water supply & distribution 1
Developing a working knowledge of urban water management 3
Approaches to water treatment 2
Water quality – monitoring and impact 1
Water in the circular economy 1
The impact of legislation on water management 1
Governmental institutional constraints on water management 1
Water and health 1
The water-food-energy nexus 1
IDTD approaches to water management 1
Wicked water problems – case studies 2
Towards a Sustainable Approach 0.5


To request an application form or for more information, email: Kiki Rakiep
Closing date for application: 10 May 2017

Download the PDF course outline