A Global Network for Integrated Water Resources Management Education


Water security is essential for achieving a multitude of development goals in the fields of human welfare and health, industrial development, food security, energy security, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation. Water resources management thus plays a pivotal role in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and implementing the Paris Agreement or Sendai Framework. Consequently, there is a high and growing demand for experts adequately trained in the concepts of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) linking water to other vital resources, embracing the whole water cycle, and considering environmental and societal aspects. The water crisis is of global dimension, and approaches to cope with it require the mobilization of international knowledge. Thus, international exchange and networking to meet the capacity development needs is urgently required. IWRMnet links universities from different continents offering master’s degrees with the objective to exchange students, professionals, and expertise from different regions worldwide.



IWRMnet aims to unite experts of various IWRM knowledge domains from different regions reflecting particular water resources challenges and different socio-economic, environmental, and climatic conditions. It meets the following objectives:

  • Fosters the exchange of students and lecturers
  • Offers joint supervision of student projects and master’s theses
  • Organizes joint events like summer schools and excursions
  • Supports the joint development of learning material supported through an online Shared Educational Resources Repository (SERR)
  • Maintains local and regional case studies (Natural Labs)

Educational Resources (SERR)

The CNRD network maintains a Shared Educational Resources Repository (SERR) which is accessible online to all members. Each partner develops specific content according to their specific competences. Educational material consists of slides, movies, exercises, case studies, and literature databaseson selected IWRM topics.

Natural Labs

Each member of the CNRD network supports local or regional case studies – typically river basins – which address prevalent societal challenges. Each of the so-called Natural Labs  is linked to research and teaching activities. An online database makes public domain and other secondary data as well as newly acquired knowledge available to the research and development community represented by a multi-stakeholder platform.


While each IWRM master’s course is unique in its thematic focus and is embedded in the water resources challenges of the particular region they all share certain key elements:

  • Core modules provide fundamentals on natural resources systems, economics and governance, project management and international cooperation, and convey the idea of trans-disciplinary approaches to IWRM.
  • Elective modules offer the latest concepts of water science, management, tools, and techniques according to the strengths of each partner university.
  • The master’s thesis addresses a pertinent research or management problem and is jointly supervised by two partners from the network.
  • Enquiry-based learning and case study centered education foster communication and team work competences.


TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)
Cologne, Germany
Vietnam Academy of Water Resources (VAWR)
Hanoi, Vietnam
German Jordanian University (GJU)
Madaba, Jordan
Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
University of Khartoum (KU), Water Research Center
Khartoum, Sudan
University of Costa Rica (UCR), Department of Geography
San José, Costa Rica
Shahid Beheshti University (SBU), Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Tehran, Iran