Global impacts on water resources are increasing. Addressing these impacts depends on the ability of professionals to make knowledgeable and sustainable management decisions.
For additional information or questions regarding the online course, please contact ingrid.chiraz [at] mcgill.ca (Ingrid Chiraz).
This online course takes a holistic look at water resources management at the watershed and sub-watershed level with a specific focus on watershed planning techniques, adaptive management strategies, capacity building approaches, water governance, and water business risk assessment to strengthen integrated water resources management capacities globally.
Course dates for Fall 2021
September 27, 2021 – November 22, 2021 (Applications opening on June 1, 2021)
The objectives of this course are to:
- Improve water resources management through the implementation of effective integrated management tools and techniques.
- Strengthen the principles of governance, planning, adaptive management and capacity building in local, regional and transboundary water resources regimes.
- Provide participants with the competencies to develop skills and knowledge required for urgent needs in the water resources sector.
This program uses a web-based system and a comprehensive text book developed specifically for this program. Using a web-based system allows participants to communicate with each other and access from a home and/or workplace computer. This method of delivery offers a flexible learning approach that can be easily accommodated into almost any work schedule. Participants spend an average of 8 hours per week on the course.
You will have readings to complete and you will be participating in online discussions moderated by the instructors.
In addition to the course readings and participation in the online discussions, you will analyse the current state of a watershed and make recommendations on future priorities, governance, and methods of management. The recommendations you develop to improve the watershed's current state will be based on the modules taught in this program. This assignment enables participants to apply the knowledge they are developing onto a relevant and real-world situation. The assignment is due at the end of the course. There is no final exam.
After course completion
Upon successful completion of the program, a letter of attestation of completion and a certificate of completion from the Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University will be issued.
Water resources professionals, recent graduates, and students with a background in geography, engineering, social sciences, environmental studies, business, or a relevant field are encouraged to apply, as water resources management is interdisciplinary and benefits from the participation of a diverse group of individuals.
Interested in applying?
Application deadline: June 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021
To assess your suitability for this course, your application must include the following:
- a CV or other documentation which outlines your educational background and professional experience
- a motivation letter for enrolling in the course
For additional information about the application process, please contact ingrid.chiraz [at] mcgill.ca (Ingrid Chiraz).
Once we have assessed your suitability, we will inform you to proceed with your registration. The course fees must be paid in full, when you complete your online registration.
Registration deadline: June 7, 2021 to October 5, 2021
Fees (Fall 2021)
$1,450 (Canadian dollars, includes applicable taxes).
For cancellations submitted within thirty (30) days of the date of registration, a refund will be issued, less a $100 administration fee.
No refunds can be made after the course start date of September 27, 2021.
- No refund will be issued after thirty (30) days from the date of registration, however suitable participation substitution is permitted.
- All requests must be submitted in writing to ingrid.chiraz [at] mcgill.ca (subject: CANCELLATION%3A%20%20Water%20Resources%20Managment%20online%20course%20%20%20%20%20%20%20e%20CANCEL) (Ingrid Chiraz).
- The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences reserves the right to cancel the course up to five (5) days prior to its start.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take the course while working full time?
Yes, the course is designed so that you can fit it around your work schedule. There are no live lectures; instead you have readings that you complete during your own time, and you are asked to participate in online discussions that the instructors moderate on a regular basis. Typically, participants spend around 8 hours per week on the course.
Who takes the course?
A wide range of people from across the world take the course, including students, engineers, biologists, development workers, communication and advocacy specialists, government workers, and policy analysts, as well as people looking to change career direction or explore their interest in water resources management.
I don’t have a background in water resources management; can I still apply?
Yes, the modules are designed to gradually introduce the concepts to all participants. The instructors are always available to answer queries and clarify any issues via the online discussion forum. Participants with no previous background in water resources management have successfully completed the course in the past.
I have extensive experience in water-related work; is the course suitable for me?
Yes, the course is designed to be both accessible for beginners and of value to experts in the water sector. The readings introduce the concepts gradually but include detailed information and case studies. The online discussion forum and course assignment both provide the opportunity to share ideas and explore the issues in considerable depth with other participants and the instructors.
What topics are covered in the course, and how are the topics delivered?
We cover a range of topics, new ideas, and methods including principles of integrated water resources management; water resources planning; developing a watershed management plan; history and principles of adaptive management; adaptive capacity and governance; social learning; water law, policy and ethics; and water risks for business. The topics are delivered in modules consisting of chapters from the e-textbook that was written specifically for this course.
What work will I be required to complete?
In addition to the course readings and participation in the online discussions, you will evaluate the current state of a watershed and develop management recommendations to improve the current state of the watershed. This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you are developing onto a relevant and real-world situation. The assignment is due at the end of the course. There is no final exam.
Is there funding available?
Unfortunately, there is no funding available at this time. Please check with your employer or national organizations for funding oppourtunities.
When does registration open, and when does the course begin?
Registration usually opens in May of each year. The course usually begins at the end of September.
Do I need to attend McGill in person?
No, the course is offered entirely online.
Emma Anderson is a MSc thesis student in the Water Resources Research Group at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Jan Adamowski. Her research applies a participatory-built sociohydrological model for studying sustainability transitions in water resource management. She has worked as a researcher at McGill in both the Soil and Water Quality lab and the Water Resources Research Group. Beyond lab work and modelling, She is experienced in editing scientific papers before publication and preparing grant proposals. She has also worked in the private sector in wastewater management. She is interested in topics surrounding policy formation and implementation, sustainability, governance, stakeholder engagement, indigenous water issues, and management of uncertainty. Emma holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Bioresource Engineering from McGill.
Jan Adamowski is a Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University. He came to McGill University in 2009 after working as a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. His main areas of research are water resources management, participatory socio-hydrological modeling, artificial intelligence applications in hydrology, sustainable agriculture, and food and water security. At McGill, he is the Lillian and David M. Stewart Scholar in Water Resources, Director of the Integrated Water Resources Management Program, and the Associate Director of the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management.
Murray Clamen is a registered professional engineer with extensive experience in international water resource studies and environmental assessments. He is the past Secretary of the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC). His career has included experience in the private sector with consulting engineering and research firms in Québec and British Columbia and a total of 33 years in the Federal Public Service; 30 years with the IJC, and three with Environment Canada. Dr Clamen is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University.
Eduardo Ganem Cuenca was a Project Manager in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University. His projects included several research contracts and grants in agricultural water management and food security. He was also in charge of developing and implementing professional development programs within the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to create ongoing learning opportunities in the environmental, agricultural, and water sectors. He holds an MSc in integrated water resources management, and currently works at McGill University
Wietske Medema is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at McGill University. After working for four years in Sri Lanka, involved in water and environmental projects in the areas of institutional development, capacity building and multi-stakeholder participation, she completed a PhD at Cranfield University in the UK. Dr. Medema's research at McGill focuses on achieving sustainable water resources management policy and practice through multi-stakeholder collaboration and social learning processes.
Kate Reilly was a PhD student at McGill University, focusing on implementation of environmental flow policies for ecosystem restoration and provision of ecosystem services. She holds an MSc in integrated water resources management, and has professional experience in European consulting firms, specializing in analysis of biodiversity policies, water quality and hydroecology. She currently works for the European Union.