Summer Course – Water Diplomacy

IHE Delft Water Diplomacy

Target Audience

Water professionals, water diplomats or professionals involved in water diplomacy activities interested in broadening their understanding of concepts, challenges and tools relating to water diplomacy. These range from the resource itself to the skills required to navigate and manage water-related disputes.


Water cooperation and diplomacy are practical fields of action and intervention dealing with how to govern water across national borders, and simultaneously emerging fields of study and reflection to understand why and how states cooperate or not, over shared water resources. You will examine various cases of cooperation as well as (potential) conflict over transboundary water, apply tools and skills to analyse the patterns of cooperation and (potential) conflict and discuss ways to foster water cooperation and prevent conflicts by diplomatic means.

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, group activities and role-plays, including the Libra game. The role-plays will allow participants to practice negotiation techniques thus enhancing their skills. Exercises such as stakeholder analysis will also be conducted to understand how to better approach conflict situations.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
1. Critically discuss the concept of water diplomacy and its implications
2. Identify and understand key concepts, relevant frameworks and challenges relating to water conflict and cooperation, including interdependencies (climate change, food, energy, etc.)
3. Distinguish between different conflict resolution mechanisms
4. Apply an analytical framework to prepare for, engage with and resolve latent or actual water-related disputes
5. Understand, recognize and respond to water negotiation processes
6. Apply acquired skills and competencies in negotiation in the context of water projects, including dealing with uncertainty, science, and deadlocks in negotiations