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Next Running

Academic Year 2019-20

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University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Course Summary 

Bringing together key strengths in water politics, climate change, agricultural water management and water allocation, this course will provide participants with an exceptional chance to acquire an understanding of this key global issue and to explore different interpretations of water security in an international and developing economy context.  Participants will leave the course with an ability to critically assess and address current water security issues and policies and to gain an appreciation of the relations between water security and development, health, climate, food, and national security. Participants will also develop their networks and resource bases.

Using a successful format developed during 2018, the Water Security training in 2019 will see the use of water security 'games' during the week and as informal coursework.  Bruce Lankford believes games are an excellent device to overcome echo-chambers within water security.  By helping to surface different kinds of beliefs, games achieve two outcomes; first that we are open towards normative ideas (we should be water secure, we should build dams, we should revise water law, we should be more efficient) whilst, second, we are more critical with our thinking (solutions may not work, or will need tailoring, or will be counter-productive).  Two examples of critical thinking: a) it asks if enforcing 'status-quo water law' may be subterfuge to lock in current injustices; b) it wonders if pursuing a formal engineering approach to efficient irrigation is expensive and alienates farmers who wish to improve current practices.  By actively allowing someone to win or lose, or everyone to win or lose, or by turning a gain into a loss, or by layering twists and turns, our intermediary games reveal what we want and what we may have missed.    

Topics likely to be covered include

Water security fundamentals –  Water resources security and water scarcity –  Climate change security and water security –  Water sharing through the River Basin Game –  Food security, agriculture and water security –  Water stewardship and citizen approaches to water – Water security and health –  Transboundary water security and hydropolitics –  Global trade, global political economy  and water –  Water markets and water security.

The Water Security Research Centre (WSRC) brings together researchers from across the University of East Anglia to address the theoretical, practical and policy challenges of managing and governing water for different human, economic and environmental needs from the local to the global scales.

The Anglian Centre for Water Studies is a partnership between Anglian Water and the University of East Anglia. The Centre seeks to ensure the independent research done by UEA informs business outcomes, policy and research.

Course Director and Teaching Team

Bruce Lankford is Professor of Water and Irrigation Policy with more than 30 years’ experience in agriculture, irrigation and water resources management.  His research covers irrigation management in Sub-Saharan Africa; games in natural resource management; resource use efficiency and the paracommons; river basin management; water allocation; and water and ecosystem services. He was responsible for the publication of two books on water security and resource efficiency in 2013. 

Regular contributors include Prof Tony Allan (KCL/London Water Research Group), Prof Declan Conway (LSE), Prof Kevin Hiscock (UEA), Dr Jessica Budds (UEA), Dr Naho Mirumachi (KCL), Dr David Tickner (WWF), Prof Mark Zeitoun (UEA).  Teaching support from WaterAid and the Anglian Centre for Water Studies is also expected.

Target Audience

The course is designed for entry and mid-level water and development policy-makers and professionals in government, donor, NGO or implementing agencies as well as for environmental and sustainability journalists, scientists, consultants and activists.

Course Requirements 

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.