Course Title: Water Policy and Management

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Water Policy and Management

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2011


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Danny O'Neill / Katelyn Samson

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 1884 / 9925 9945

Course Coordinator Email: /

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

none required

Course Description

The aim of this course is to examine the range of policy that directs water harvesting ad consumption in urban and regional areas, and to analyse the management options for delivering the policies. Case studies of current practice and identification of future options will form the major content of the course. While the focus will be Victorian policies and case studies, reference will be made to key examples across Australia, and internationally.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Related to the course objectives and assessment tasks are the following capabilities that will be facilitated through your course of study.
Environmental responsibility- the ability to:
• adopt a responsible attitude of stewardship to the environment
• conceptualise principles and practice of natural resource policy, sustainability, globalisation and environmental management

International and cross cultural engagement- the ability to:
• embrace international perspectives on environmental, social, economic, cultural, and professional issues
• understand the interconnectedness of environmental, economic and social systems

Social responsibility- the ability to:
• acknowledge one’s own personal values and ethics
• make informed decisions in judging and adopting appropriate behaviour in professional and social situations

Knowledge- the ability to:
• access information from a wide variety of sources
• evaluate and discern value of information

Technical and professional skills- the highly developed ability to:
• foster soundly based thinking in theoretical, historical, local and international contexts for environmental decision making
• confidently develop, formulate and implement policy

Critical analysis- the ability to:
• assess the strategic, operational, social and environmental implications of decisions and actions
• evaluate multidisciplinary situations

Critical awareness- the ability to:
• contribute to the creation of shared understanding in occupationally, politically and culturally diverse interest groups

Creativity- the facility to:
• think laterally, in a variety of situations

Communication- the ability to:
• present ideas coherently to academic and professional audiences in oral and written material
• be sensitive to the experience of individuals and the way in which it is socially constructed and mediated by class, gender and ethnicity
• communicate effectively through a range of modes and multi media technologies
• build positive relationships with others

see above

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning experiences have been designed to enable students to develop an understanding of the concepts associated with water policy and management, and their relationship to the practical aspects of bringing about change in water management. Students will consolidate this knowledge through individual work aimed at establishing the theoretical concepts, and relating these in a practical investigation of case studies; drawn from Victoria, other Australian states, the Commonwealth, and to a lesser extent internationally. In addition students will gain experience in communication skills through the presentation of their material, and through their sharing of expertise during interactive class sessions.

This is a reading-intensive course that will follow a lecture/ discussion format in weekly meeting. Guest presenters will sometimes be involved in these sessions. Case studies will be used to present and examine the water topics. In class students will undertake responsibility for reviewing the assigned readings and will use this as a basis for a class-presentation, which will be followed by discussion and comments. To make the sessions most valuable to everyone, all students will be expected to be prepared, through reading, to contribute to the discussion.

At the end of the semester students will also participate in a discussion to contribute to the evaluation of the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Indicative references –
• American Society of Civil Engineers, Water management in the ’90s : a time for innovation : proceedings of the 20th anniversary conference, New York, N.Y : American Society of Civil Engineers, c1993.
• Fullerton, T., Watershed, Sydney, ABC Books, 2001
• Smith, D. I., Water in Australia : resources and management, Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 1998.

Lists of resources specific to the water resource management in Australia, and international practice will be provided

Overview of Assessment

At the completion of each module students will be required to submit an assignment that will require them to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered in that module. These assignments will comprise 40% of the final assessment.
The final assessment will be in the form of a project proposal to address a water resource management issue identified by the student (this can be anything from village level sewage treatment to an international agreement about a particular water resource).The proposal should cover the following points:
What is the problem the proposal seeks to address?
Explain the issue in detail
What’s been done before? Has it worked? If not, why not?
What do you think needs to be done?
What will it cost? Identify the major actions required (and who will do them) and provide an estimate of the costs (this estimate can be a rough guess) and over what time frame.
If we the project was successful what will be the benefits. These should be discussed in terms of economic, social and environmental outcomes.
What can go wrong and what do we need to do to minimise this?
The proposal should be no more than 3,000 words and will constitute 60% of the final mark.