Course Number
Course Format
Asynchronous Online

This course examines the technical, economic, and social aspects of managing water resources. A review of water fundamentals involving physical, chemical, and biological systems provides a foundation. Students are given a historical basis for thinking about and resolving contemporary challenges. Observed and predicted climate change impacts on water resources are explored along with management implications and responses. Key water law concepts, their roots in social institutions, and current traditional institutions are covered. The course surveys regulatory instruments, like permits, and their operation across federal, state, and local levels of government. Funding and financing issues are covered. The course addresses the management of water supply and demand in the United States. Fundamentals of flood and drought management are covered, with attention given to climate change. Water quality-based management under the federal Clean Water Act includes the topics of water quality standards, water quality assessments, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and implications for permit requirements. Regional ecological water resources management is addressed by contrasting the Chesapeake Bay case with other cases. The topic of natural environmental flows explores the benefits of natural flow variability and the interrelationships among five key functions that characterize the health of a stream and support stream restoration design. Water resource management decision making is addressed in terms of structured techniques involving economic analyses, multi-objective analyses, and collaborative decision making with a focus on the role of public involvement. Students will be led in the development of a well-defined, substantive water resources management research question as part of a course project.

Course Offerings

There are no sections currently offered, however you can view a sample syllabus from a prior section of this course.