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Sustainable Water Management: Managing complexity in the global water landscape in an age of uncertainty

Course Code


Course Title

Sustainable Water Management: Managing complexity in the global water landscape in an age of uncertainty


27 July to 07 August 2020


This course has been designed to equip the next generation of critical thinkers to consider the world’s increasingly complex water challenges. An interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary (IDTD) approach is adopted so that participants are empowered to engage with the environmental, technical, socio- cultural, economic and political challenges around water to create an understanding of water’s diverse role in society and in sustaining livelihoods. This course will challenge participants to consider water in new ways, develop the tools to do so and equip them with the skills to apply their learnings in  different contexts. This course adopts an IDTD approach to examine the complexity of current water crises, trends and conditions, with specific examples from the African continent. It aims to provide the necessary contextual information to allow people from any background to participate meaningfully. While considering water demand, supply and treatment, it addresses the need to derive maximum benefit from water resources while incurring minimum burden and the need to secure ‘new taps’ in a Water Sensitive Urban Design context.

  1. Introduce students to complexity of water concerns on the continent
  2. Explore and discuss different options for approaching sustainable management of water
  3. Engineering and sanitation context and associated concerns outlined, explored and debated
  4. Anthropological impacts on water quality through human use, urbanisation, industrial processes, agriculture and mining explored
  5. Social impacts and associated health concerns around water challenges in the African context
  6. Interactive nature of economy, population and environment with respect to water and the ensuing wicked problems arising conceptualised with tool sets to challenge these introduced
  7. Develop an understanding of wastewater treatment and remediation practices and challenges
  8. Develop concepts central to water quality, monitoring and impact. Provide tools to explore these concepts
  9. Explore the legislative aspects of water delivery and access

The course will facilitate critical thinking and analysis to foster paradigm shifts through engagement with both practical applications and intractable problems. There will be ample interactive time to focus on discussion, debate, and tactile engagement through workshops, activities and a hands-on site visit to the Water Hub (demonstration and training facility ) and Langrug informal settlement in Franschhoek.

Field Trip


Academic Field Trips:

  • The Water Hub, Franschhoek
  • Langrug Informal Settlement


Robben Island and Cape Peninsula Tour (Cape Point, Boulders Penguin Colony, Hout Bay, Chapmans Peak)

Target Audience

Second  /  third  year  undergraduate  students  and  postgraduate (Honours/4th year, Masters and PhD) students

Honours (4th year) students, Masters students, PhD students

Further specifications: No prior knowledge of water management is required.



The course is offered as an inter-disciplinary course that will benefit from a cohort of students from diverse educational backgrounds and level of qualifications. Candidates should be able to communicate well in English.

Delivery Method & Learning Outcomes

Lectures, interactive discussion, debate, tactile engagement, lab skills, site visits


Interactive short activities, field report / position paper and a group assignment

Credits equivalent at host university & contact hours


Credit equivalents: 4 USA credits; 8 ECT credits; 20 NQF credits (to be awarded by home institution 

The course will run over a 12-day period (Mon through to Fri week) with the Saturday and Sunday as free days, and one day will likely be spent on presentations (and development). The field trip will occupy two days out of Cape Town. All other days will be run as 8 hour contact days, with the expectation of some preparatory self-study on 5 evenings.

Name of Lecturer(s) / Tutor(s)

Prof Neil Armitage                           Dr Kirsty Carden

Dr David Ikumi                                 Dr Dyllon Randall

A/Prof Jennifer Broadhurst              Dr Amber Abrams                           

A/Prof Horman Chitonge                 Prof Mugsy Spiegel  

Dr Kevin Winter                              Prof Aqiel Dalvie 

Dr Tom Sanya                                Dr Gareth Haysom  

Ms Nikiwe Solomon                       Dr John Okedi   

Dr Amber Abrams





Check-in date: Students must arrive by the weekend (Sunday) prior to the Start of the Programme.

Students will be able to check in from 2 pm.

Check-out date: Students must depart by the weekend (Saturday) after the end of the Programme.

Students have the option to stay longer, at their own cost, and provided the accommodation facility is alerted in good time to ensure availability of rooms.


Tuition fees: $ 1000 including Programme Coordination & Academic Component

Accommodation, including any deposits: $ 825

Field trip: $ 425 including excursions (transport & entry fees) to local attraction sites

Textbook fees: None

Miscellaneous fees: $ 520 Group Facilitation & Administrative

Living expenses: $ 230 including Programme meals (welcome lunch & closing dinner)


 TOTAL COST: $ 3000


Visa Requirements

Visa requirements are country specific & each student must ensure they check the RSA entry requirements that apply to their particular passports. Visa fees are for students’ own costs.


Required and/or Recommended Insurance(s)

All students must secure a comprehensive insurance policy from their home country, covering all aspects of their visit to RSA (including travel insurance, medical care, accident & emergency cover, repatriation etc.)




Application Instructions

Please email to request for application form.

Application Closing Date

29 May 2020