Integrated Water Resources Management

Click here to view the IWRM Brochure

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a coordinated, goal-directed ‘process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment’ (source).

IWRM also acts as a comprehensive, participatory planning and implementation tool for managing and developing water resources in a way that ensures efficient, equitable and sustainable development and management of the world’s limited water resources and for coping with conflicting demands.

For more information on IWRM, please refer to the resources section of this website.

IWRM Programme

The Water Learning Centre (WLC) regional node of the United Nation University- International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) at The University of Nairobi in Kenya announces the call for admission to the 2016/2017 Academic year for the Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Programme.

The 2016 course is commencing in September this year at WLC in Nairobi.

For enquiries about the course please contact:

At the University of Nairobi

Professor Eric Odada
Regional Course Director
College of Physical and Biological Sciences
University of Nairobi
Riverside Drive, Chiromo Campus
P.O.Box 30197-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel+254-020- 4447740

or the global coordination unit at UNU-INWEH

Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla
United Nations University – Institute of Water Environment and Health, 204
175 L ongwood Rd. South Hamilton, Ontario
L8P 0A1 Canada
Tel: +1 905 667 5497

The closing date for receiving applications from interested participants in the Diploma Programme is30th July, 2016.


IWRM Course Brochure

Click here to view the Integrated Water Resources Management Curriculum Design & Program Brochure

Course outline


1. Introduction to IWRM

Water is a key driver of economic and social development while it also has a basic function in maintaining the integrity of the natural environment. However water is only one of a number of vital natural resources and it is imperative that water issues are not considered in isolation. Managers, whether in the government or private sectors, have to make difficult decisions on water allocation. More and more, they have to apportion diminishing supplies between ever-increasing demands. Drivers such as demographic and climatic changes further increase the stress on water resources. The traditional fragmented approach is no longer viable and a more holistic approach to water management is essential. This is the rationale for the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach that has now been accepted internationally as the way forward for efficient, equitable and sustainable development and management of the world’s limited water resources and for coping with conflicting demands.

2. Water Transfer

1. What is Hydrology?
2. Water and Land Water and the Riparian Environment
3. Lakes
4. Water Budget

3.The Terrestrial Ecosystem

1. Biomes
2. Drylands
3. Introduction to Ecology
4. Plant Succession
5. Biogeography
6. Population Growth and Competition
7. Predation
8. Nutrient Cycling
9. Biodiversity
10. Watershed Change

4. The Aquatic Ecosystem

1. Aquatic Ecosystem/Freshwater,
2. Stream Ecology,
3. Biological Community Characteristics,
4. Functions and Dynamic Equilibrium,
5. Stream Ecology Disturbances,
6. Estuaries,
7. Lakes,
8. Marine Ecology,
9. Wetlands,
10. Watershed Change,
11. GIS

5. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Impact Assessment

1. Principles of Aquatic Ecosystem Health
2. Biological Monitoring Processes
3. Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems
4. Restoration
5. Toxicology
6. Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA)

6. Water Use

1. Agricultural Water Use

  • Crop Production
  • Surface Irrigation Systems
    • Border Systems
    • Basin Irrigation Systems
    • Furrow Irrigation Systems
  • Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Drip Irrigation
  • Impacts of Irrigation
  • Salinization
  • Animal Consumption
  • Grazing
  • Agroindustries
  • Aquaculture

2. Industrial Water Use

  • Industry Water Use
  • Water Conservation

3. Public Water Use

  • Groundwater and Surface Water
  • Water and Public Health
  • Drinking Water Guidelines
  • Microbial Aspects
  • Disinfectants
  • Inorganics and Aesthetics
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Monitoring Microbial Quality
  • Monitoring Chemical Quality
  • Source Protection

7. Wastewater

1. Rural Non-Point-Sources
2. Rural Point Sources and Industrial Non-Point-Sources
3. Urban Point Sources – Municipal
4. Urban Point Sources – Industrial

8. Governance and Community Based Approaches

1. Governance and Ethics
2. Community Participation
3. Gender
4. Conflict Resolution
5. Economics

9. Organizational Infrastructure and Management

1. Management & Operations
2. Laboratory & Information Management
3. Public Health & Public Health Administration
4. The Programming Cycle & Project Management
5. Contract Management
6. Special Planning

10. Applying Integrated Water Resource Management

The last course is designed to provide students with a practical overview and review of the course materials. It consists of the following tasks:

  • A practical (but limited)¬† exercise, using supplied case study data for each of the 8 courses (2-9).
  • A final session where a case study from the student’s own region¬† with the most complete data sets will be completed. This will allow the students to do a reasonably complete analysis of an existing watershed and apply what has been learned from the course.

As appropriate, the student’s project may include any of the following tasks:

  • Preparing a Water Budget for a watershed/sub-watershed either from a provided case study or one where the student can obtain information of on their own.
  • Doing a water demand analysis and future projection.
  • Performing and writing a report on a specific Risk Assessment.
  • Writing an Environmental Impact Assessment Statement.
  • Writing a contract for piece of work.
  • Evaluating one or more technology proposals.
  • Using one or more mathematical models to examine and evaluate a problem.
  • Draft a complete project (programming, identification, formulation, financing, implementation and evaluation) document
  • Writing a project grant/loan proposal