Local Water Solutions for Global Challenges

Gaia Education, UNITAR, The Scottish Government Water and SDGs

Target Audience

Integrated Water Resource Managers, Community Health and Sanitation Workers, International Development Consultants, Water Quality and Treatment Managers, Poverty Alleviation Activists, Developing Countries Agricultural Engineers, SDG Training Multipliers, Hydrology Students and Workers, Community Leaders, Urban Water Developers, Climate Justice Policy Makers, Waste Water Treatment Workers


Water is essential for life and for sustainable development. Increasing human population, the impacts of climate change and unsustainable growth all place pressures on the world’s precious freshwater resources. Managing water well is essential for the international community to deliver the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Without this, most of the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved. Every drop matters.

The course presented by the University of Strathclyde, Gaia Education and UNITAR contributes to the International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development which will be launched on World Water Day on 22 March.

This Water Action Decade will focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources and sanitation to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives and to implement and promote related programmes and projects, as well as to advance cooperation and partnership at all levels to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Learning Objectives

Module 1. Global Water Challenges. On completion of this module participants are expected to be able to:
-summarise what is meant by Integrated Water Resource Management
-identify challenges for water security
-explain the key components of water quality
-examine the water-related consequences of climate change
-describe the differences in, and impacts of, water distribution

Module 2. Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies. On completion of this module participants are expected to be able to:
– explain the concept of different levels of water resilience and its links to sustainable communities
– select the most appropriate technology/ technique and describe how it can be used to address the water challenges of their region
– compare and contrast the case studies and draw the lessons learnt

Module 3. Water Governance. On completion of this module participants are expected to be able to:
– summarise the special challenges inherent in transboundary water management
– differentiate between absolute territorial sovereignty/integrity and limited territorial sovereignty and the challenges they pose
– explain the science-policy-stakeholder interface in water management in their area and how it can be improved

Module 4. Water- Energy- food Nexus. On completion of this module participants are expected to be able to:
– identify opportunities for sustainability using a nexus approach
– explain the importance of considering water more broadly across the environment, society and the economy
– detail, using the case studies, how a region is adopting a water energy food nexus approach