Water Economics

IHE Delft Water economics

Target Audience

The course is designed for professionals in water-related fields without prior economic background, with the purpose to provide an economic foundation for water management.


This course is intended to provide an introduction to economic theory and approach as applied to water management. It is for professionals in water-related fields with no prior economic background.

The course will first layout the policy context for water economics, i.e., why is economics relevant and important for water management, through cases and examples in which economics can play or have played a role. The course will then introduce economic principles, concepts, and theory to build an economic foundation for understanding water issues. Based on the economic foundation, the course will further elaborate on and synthesize economic approaches to managing water, including quantity and price based policy instruments, institutional role, and benefit-cost analysis.

The course will also cover economic valuation of water uses and decision-making context. As part of the course, a roleplaying game will be conducted with course participants to help understanding of water resource management in the real world. Group work, presentation, and individual assignment will be part of learning process to improve understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
– Describe the principles of economics and the relevance of economics to water management
– Describe and discuss market mechanism and economic efficiency and relevance to water management
– Characterize and explain water resource issues using economic concepts and theory
– Conduct a simple policy analysis of water-related decision-making
– List and review economic instruments for water management