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The IWRM curriculum offers broad-based coverage of the principles and practices of IWRM, providing the students with core knowledge in the natural sciences, engineering, health, governance, public administration, social sciences, economics, resource conservation, strategic planning, as well as aspects of program and project management. The distance-based curriculum is Internet-based as well as CD-ROM supported.

The IWRM Diploma consists of 10 modules. The modules total 250 hours of presentations (equivalent to lecture time) but not all would be conducted in person by the trainers. The IWRM Overview course (Module 1) and the final Applied Session (Module 10) are presented in detail at the Regional WVLC at AGU. During the period of the last module (i.e., Module 10), the final comprehensive exam of the Diploma will be administered. The rest of the modules will be given as Distance Education courses, with participant-instructor interaction made by e-mail and web-based conferencing system. The following is a brief description of the 10 modules.

  1. An Introduction to Integrated Water Resources Management: This course provides an overview of the concepts involved in IWRM and a brief summary of the other courses. A simplified process for implementing an IWRM plan is also included as an example of the mechanisms and problems that might be encountered. A broad examination of critical concepts and knowledge needs related to IWRM, including essential human and institutional capacities development, with the course structure and content linked to, and driven by, the subsequent eight courses.

  2. Water Transfer: The natural components and processes of the hydrologic cycle, temporal variance, global and regional processes and impacts of anthropogenic alterations on the water cycle. Water and the Atmosphere, Water and Land, Water and the Riparian Environment, Lakes, and Water Budgets.

  3. The Terrestrial Ecosystem: Changes and impacts that occur as a result of land use change and development. Biomes, Drylands, Life, Succession, Biogeography, Populations and Growth, Predation, Nutrient Cycling, Biodiversity, Watershed Change, Forestry, Agriculture, Mining, Urbanization, Dams and Diversions.

  4. The Aquatic Ecosystem: Concepts, processes, analytical approaches and procedures that relate to our understanding of the structure and function of the aquatic ecosystem. Freshwaters, Stream Ecology, Biological Community Characteristics, Stream Corridor Functions, Estuaries, Lakes, Marine Ecology, Wetlands, Watershed Change, and GIS.

  5. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Impact Assessment: Aspects of anthropogenic impact and change to the physical, chemical, biological and ecological components of the aquatic environment. Principles of Aquatic Ecosystem Health, Biological Monitoring Processes, Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems, Restoration, Toxicology, and Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA).

  6. Water Use: The many human uses of water, both consumptive and non-consumptive, and their implications for the hydrologic cycle, ambient water quality and both ecosystem and human health. Agriculture, Industrial and Public water use, standards and monitoring.

  7. Wastewater: The discharge of wastewater to natural and artificial catchments, potential impacts, methods of treatment and mitigation, the urban water cycle and methods to evaluate and choose appropriate technologies. Rural, Urban, and Industrial Point and Non-Point-Sources.

  8. Governance and Community Based Approaches: Legislative, regulatory, legal, jurisdictional, community and individual responsibilities and arrangements of IWRM. Gender issues, the requirements and benefits of capacity building, public education and community involvement. Water Laws, Government’s Role, Policy Development, Issues and Dilemmas, Community Participation, Consensus Building and Conflict Resolution, Policy Instruments.

  9. Organizational Infrastructure and Management: This course deals with the organizational and management structures and procedures needed to deal with Integrated Water Resource Management. Management and operations, financing, budget analysis, budget cycles, capital expenditures, policy analysis, community involvement. Personnel training and human resources planning. Management & Operations, Laboratory & Information Management, Public Health & Public Health Administration, The Programming Cycle & Project & Contract Management, Special Planning.

  10. Applying Integrated Water Resources Management: Customized case studies, practical illustrations of the concepts and procedures of IWRM, and investigative techniques for students to assess their own IWRM needs, conducted in tutorial format in the Regional Centers. Students projects may include preparing a water budget for a watershed/sub-watershed, performing a water demand analysis and future projection, performing and writing a report on a specific Risk Assessment, Writing an Environmental Impact Assessment Statement, Using one or more mathematical models to examine and evaluate a problem, write a complete project (programming, identification, formulation, financing, implementation and evaluation, Writing a project grant/loan proposal for GEF or the World Bank.
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