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Next Running

1-5 June 2020


University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Course Summary

Securing water for all in the context of climate change is a global challenge for all countries. The purpose of this short course is to equip non-specialists with a broad cross-disciplinary understanding of water security and its related dimensions. It focuses on how water security for human populations is socially and politically determined, and the consequences of water insecurity on a range of stakeholders and environments. In-depth understanding of interrelated issues is used to explore how to co-create water secure futures.

Course Aims 

The course aims to

  • facilitate a cross-disciplinary understanding of water security to build on existing knowledge of water security issues amongst diverse stakeholders
  • examine how water security is socially and politically determined, using a relational approach to complement more traditional approaches to water security that focus on understanding the interrelated impacts of climate, hydrology, legal-institutional frameworks, and infrastructure
  • explore how to co-create water secure futures


Course Content

The course content will focus on the concept of ‘Water Security’, as a complex set of processes related to securing access to water for human use and wellbeing, and considering social and political relations, environments, climate, and health.

Day 1: Hydrological and Hydro-social cycle, Definitions of water security

Day 2: Climate, energy, ecosystems and water security

Day 3: ‘The Global Water Crisis’; Markets, global trade and water security

Day 4: Water security; power and state security; water security in natural disaster/crisis situations

Day 5: Water related hazards; WaSH and health; Co-creation of resilient water secure futures

Learning Outcomes 

At the end of this short course, participants will be able to

  • articulate a cross disciplinary understanding of water security
  • discuss how water security is socially and politically determined, using a broad and relational approach to water security
  • identify ways of working toward co-creating water secure futures with a range of stakeholders


Course Directors 

Dr Jessica Budds is Associate Professor in Geography and International Development at the School of International Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of East Anglia. Her work focuses on the relationship between economic development, water governance, and access to water among low-income groups in the Global South, particularly in South America. She explores how economic change influences the nature of water flows, infrastructure, institutions, policies, and dominant representations of water, often in ways that promote or sustain financial investment and political power.  Her work has covered the implications of the development of key industries (including agribusiness, mining and hydroelectric power), and the application of market principles to water (comprising water privatisation, water markets, and payments for ecosystem services), for low-income groups’ access to water. 

Dr Jo-Anne Geere is a Physiotherapy Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of East Anglia. Her current research focuses on the health impacts of fetching water, and community based collection of water access and health data using mobile devices.  She has also conducted secondary analyses of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICs) to explore relationships between household water access and public health.  She has been involved in research investigating domestic and informal work in Kenya and South Africa, particularly as it affects people in low income regions or with disability. The research is informed by her background in the clinical management of people with musculoskeletal disorders and disability.

Target Audience

Employees of government organisations, NGOs, international agencies and private organisations. The course is aimed especially at professionals who do not have an existing specialism in the field but who may have new responsibility or interest in the integration of water security into development and/or WaSH planning, projects and policy. Recent participants have included employees of national ministries of environment, agriculture, planning and finance from countries worldwide, and staff of organisations such as Oxfam, Red Cross, ICIMOD, DfID, JICA, BMZ, ADB, UNDP, UNEP, FAO and IFC.

Course Requirements 

No special skills are required, but a genuine interest in learning more about issues of water security is essential.

The course is conducted in English. Full competence in English, written and spoken is an essential requirement.


£1,890 – includes all tuition, course materials, daily lunches and refreshments, and an evening networking dinner.

For bookings made by 1 March 2020 there will be a reduction in the fee of 15%, to £1,606. 

We currently do not offer any scholarships to attend this course. All applicants are expected to secure their own funding.