Introduction to Water and Climate

TU Delft Environmental Studies

Target Audience

For students of engineering, climate science and environmental studies, this course offers a first introduction to the physics of water systems and their role in climate. In addition, we show you the state-of-the-art engineering interventions that can be applied to water systems. These can improve coastal safety and increase the availability of water supplies worldwide.

The course welcomes students from all over the globe, so we actively encourage discussion of water and climate issues you may experience in your location, now and in the coming decades.


Water is essential for life on Earth and of crucial importance for society. Water also plays a major role in affecting climate. Its natural cycle, from ocean to atmosphere by evaporation, then by precipitation back to land returning via rivers and aquifers to the oceans, has a decisive impact on regional and global climate patterns.

Learning Objectives

The different processes of the global water cycle
The challenges in better understanding and adapting to the impact of climate change on water for the coming 50 years
The flows of water and sand in different riverine, coastal and ocean systems
How to identify mechanisms of climate change and explain the interplay of climate change, sea level, clouds, rainfall and future weather
Why, when and which engineering interventions are needed in rivers, coasts and urban environments
Why water for food and water for cities are the main challenges in water management and what the possibilities and limitations of reservoirs and groundwater are to improve water availability