Joint European Project (JEP) 31054 – 2003
“Curricula Development for Integrated Water Resources Management”
The JEP with two years duration is for a curricula development
for magisterial level courses.
To develop course packs for magisterial level courses
on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) on:
1. Water Resources Assessment
Understanding resources and needs
- Water resources knowledge base
- Water resources assessment
- Modelling in IWRM
- Developing water management indicators
- Ecosystem assessment
2. Efficiency in Water Use
Managing demand and supply
- Improved efficiency of use
- Recycling and reuse
- Improved efficiency of water supply
3. Water Rights and conflict resolution
Ensuring sharing of water
- Conflict management
- Shared vision planning
- Consensus building)
4. Use of Economic Instruments for Water Management
Using value and prices for efficiency and equity
- Pricing of water and water services
- Pollution and environmental charges
- Water markets and tradable permits
- Subsidies and incentives, "virtual water" concept)
The course pack for each of the courses will include:
lecture notes, instruction for the seminar works, case studies, problems
for self exercise, evaluation and examination procedures.
After a pilot stage, the respective departments at the
partner Universities will implement the core courses.
During the implementation phase the partners will prepare guidelines for
quality assurance and evaluation along the lines of the Bologna process.
At last a SWOT analysis at partners institutions will contribute to the
sustainability of the project.
Each course pack will include: lecture
notes, instruction for the seminar works, demonstration example and case
studies, homework problems for self exercise, evaluation and examination
The main modules of the project:
During the first project’s stakeholders
meeting the partners will agree on the pedagogical/methodological
contents of each of the courses as well as assign tacks and roles for
each partners and the preparatory work, e.g. gathering literature, case
studies, etc., for the next meeting.
During the second meeting the partners
will have identified the professors in charge of developing and implementing
the material on each of the subjects.
The preliminary development of the training material
will be done via e-mails communication and the actual development
of the course packs will be based on the extended mutual visits
to partner’s facilities.
After first draft of the course packs have been
prepared the government agencies and NGOs as well as the interested
parties will be invited for a conference to review the
material and to provide for comments and feedback to the proposals. The
second purpose of this conference is to increase the awareness of the
people interested in the water sector management.
The refined course packs will be presented
for accreditation to the respective authorities.
After the approval the partners will start delivering
the material as condensed pilot courses to the interested
Then, after accounting for experience of these pilot
courses, the core courses will be implemented by the
respective departments at the partner Universities.
During the implementation phase the partners will take
care of preparing guidelines for quality assurance and evaluation
in accordance to framework conditions formulated by the Bologna process.
As a last project activity a Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Treats (SWOT) analysis at partners institutions
in respect to their preparedness to join the Bologna process will make
a contribution to the sustainability of the project.
Background of the Project
Partner countries problem and needs analysis:
Given the current regional water resources situation and
the criticality of projected trends as derived from water demand and availability
scenarios for the Middle East / North Africa region, there is an urgent
need for implementing a range of measures in an Integrated Water Resources
Management context. Capacity building at all levels and across all water-related
sectors is a key component to achieve the goal of sustainable water resources
management and development.
In particular improvements in water demand management,
e.g. through more realistic water pricing and improvements in water productivity
(in particular in the agricultural sector) are urgently required, in order
to sustainably meet future human and ecosystem water needs. There are
a number of examples for water markets and water trading schemes from
around the world, that need to be scrutinized for transferability to the
situation in the TEMPUS MEDA region.
Virtual water trade is one management option to mitigate
water scarcity and is utilized extensively in the Middle East / North
Africa region. Various studies have analyzed the relationship between
water scarcity and the substitution of local agriculture by imports of
agricultural commodities, and the problem solving potential of virtual
water trade in this region. Jordan is one of the world’s most advanced
countries in the transition from food self-sufficiency to food security,
i.e. in relying on imports of food products in response to water scarcity.
It will be important to summarize the economic and political experiences
gained with this instrument and assess the transfer potential to other
An implementation of the IWRM concept requires an optimized
mix of tools to achieve its goals, i.e. to “maximize the resultant
economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising
the sustainability of vital ecosystems” . Hence a key element of
the curriculum will be an assessment of costs and benefits of a range
of demand side and supply side measures in IWRM.
Given the regional political situation and the transboundary
nature of several of the surface and ground water resources, there is
an urgent need for collaboration in water resources management. As pointed
out in recent scientific work but also other initiatives , the potential
for water to contribute to international collaboration is enormous. Again,
a goal of the TEMPUS MEDA JEP would be to compare experience gained elsewhere
with that from the region and assess the potential for transfers. Scenario
analysis and shared vision planning will be tools to be use in the respective
The IWRM concept and in particular the conflict management
module of the project have to be based upon extensive stakeholder participation
and dialogue, for which the TEMPUS MEDA JEP project can provide a suitable
context. The partners have developed and applied a range of stakeholder
dialogue tools, including e.g. focus groups, policy exercises and others.
The experience gained in several environmental policy contexts, can be
Water Management issues is very important in Syria due
to the scarcity of water resources. As Syria has exploited almost all
its traditional water resources, the challenge facing the country now
is to manage its water resources very efficiently, and in the manner that
would yield maximum economic benefit for the country. Producing high quality
water managers is an essential factor of good water management. A Higher
Institute of Water Management is in the process of being established with
the support of KFW, Germany. The Institute will be under the auspices
of the Ministry of Higher Education in Syria. The Department of Water
Engineering at the Faculty of Civil Engineering is also trying to adjust
its postgraduate program and put more emphasis on water management subjects.
In so far as Syria is still at the beginning of the transformation
to market economy the required curricula development is on the Water Resources
Assessment and Efficiency in Water Use.
The economic and negotiation subjects have been requested
by our Jordanian partners and after their development and implementation,
followed by translation to Arabian language, the subjects “Water
Rights and conflict resolution” and “Use of Economic Instruments
for Water Management” will be ready for transfer to the Syrian partners.
It is generally accepted that an integrated approach is
required in which resource development options and demand management go
hand in hand lo provide a management structure with balances between immediate
demand from different user groups and the short- and long-term environmental
functions of our global water resources. The success of integrated water
resources management will also benefit from a broader partnership in planning,
development and management of our water resources. The focal role of central
government is gradually complemented with a growing responsibility of
lower levels in the public sector and broader partnerships with the private
sector – the so-called public-private partnership (PPP).
In 1997 the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
enunciated major policy changes in the water sector, emphasizing water
demand management and a major role for the private sector. The government
embarked upon a privatisation programme, the goal being to orient Jordan's
economy more towards the private sector and best present Jordan to the
international financial community. The specific objectives of the programme
include increasing the efficiency of enterprises, consolidating public
finance, attracting private investment into the economy and deepening
the financial markets.
Coming out from different economic and resource realities
both Jordan and Syria are either planning or have established specialised
centres on “Water resources and environmental engineering”
which are, or will be, open to people with different academic backgrounds.
In Damascus the Faculty of Civil Engineering is working to establish a
Higher Institute of Water Management with one-year fully privately financed
program. For Jordan the Civil Society Development Centre (CSDC) of the
university JUST will be adapting the “Water rights and conflict
resolution” syllabus for a semester long course and for the purpose
oriented participatory workshops. CSDC is a newly established centre to
participate in the national effort in advancing the political and social
development of Jordan.
Presentation of the consortium:
Partner 1. The Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)
was established in 1963 as a private, non-profit, independent policy oriented
think tank with the objective to become a key provider of policy devoted
economic and social research analysis and post-graduate training.
IHS consists of 5 departments – Economics and Finance,
Transition Economics, Political Science, Sociology, IT - and a Center
for Strategic Development. The latter is the consulting arm of the Institute
and has a sound experience with designing and managing of projects within
complex donor-funded programs. The Institute’s more than 600 projects
performed in over 50 countries cover different socio-economic spheres,
including water, energy and environment, institutional building, and strengthening,
management of public services, private sector development, democratization
processes, parliamentary reform processes and security in Europe.
IHS has provided analyses, policy formulation and technical
assistance to a large number of Central European and Newly Industrialised
Countries concerning regional socio-economic development, reforms of the
real and the financial sectors, as well as the legal systems, institutional
building and strengthening, human rights protection, democratisation processes,
etc. Due to the extensive work performed in the Central Europe and Middle
East and Central Asia in co-operation with key regional analysts IHS has
acquired a profound familiarity with the particularities of the economic,
social and political development of these countries, which aids the provision
by the Institute of expertise, appropriate to the respective national
The following specific experience deserves mentioning:
INTAS 2001- Evaluation of Current Environmental State and Ecological Risks
in Fergana Valley Region and the global energy analysis done within the
IIASA´s Energy Systems Program which is closely connected with the
Global Water System Project.
During the preparatory stage IHS offered the following
subjects to the partners institutions:
- Water Resources Assessment
- Planning for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
- Efficiency in Water Use
- Water Rights and conflict resolution
- Regulatory Instruments
- Economic Instruments
For implementation the partner Universities have chosen
four of them, namely:
- Water Resources Assessment
- Efficiency in Water Use
- Water Rights and conflict resolution
- Use of Economic Instruments for Water Management
Partner 2. The department of global change &
natural systems (GCNS) of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
has as a primary goal to assess the changes in the environment and human
life, including their importance for human society, as well as the feedbacks
to the atmosphere. Most of the work is concerned with "human"
scales of time and space. For ecosystems (natural and managed), GCNS focuses
on landscape processes, such as tree and canopy development. In hydrological
systems GCNS assesses the potential and risks environmental change might
imply for human land use of river catchments. For the analysis of the
entire biosphere GCNS studies interactions between human exploitation
and the global carbon cycle. In none of these three cases can the direct
human influence through management (or sometimes destruction) be ignored
- often it is found to be the primary reason for concern. GCNS ´s
spatial scope is at multiple levels, ranging from the Elbe catchments,
through pan-European studies, to global assessments.
GCNS work is done primarily through research activities,
often using computer models and large databases. GCNS does, however, also
contribute to the coordination of national and international research
consortia, and this is an important element of GCNS activities. Additionally,
GCNS contributes to academic teaching at Potsdam University (mostly through
its department of geo-ecology), and at several other German universities.
The Global Water System Project is one of the important long-term commitments
of the GCNS.
Partner 3. The Department of Water Management,
Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering of the University of Renewable Resources
Management (or Agricultural Sciences) in Vienna is providing
magisterial level courses in the following fields:
Eco-hydrological modelling and management; Water resources
systems and risk analysis; Conflict analysis; Stochastic hydrology; Multi-objective
decision making; Geographical information systems and their application
in water resources management; Impact of climate change on water resources
Among the international activities of the department the
following may be mentioned:
- UNESCO (Water Science Div.) Working Group 4.1on International River
systems: Conflict Analysis and Resolution and of PCCP team (Potential
- Expert Group for the Water Management of Shared River basins (EU-SADC)in
the Zambezii Basin
- Scientific Steering Board for the European Thematic Network of Education
and Training for ENVIRONMENT-WATER
- Tunesia, Algeria, Morocco: Review of the Tunisian Water Development
Plan GEORE. Restructuring of Municipal and Regional Water Authorities
in Algeria. Feasibility Study for the Establishment of the River Basin
Authority Tensift, Morocco
- The UNESCO (Water Science Div.) Working Group on Sustainable Use
of Water Resources.
- International Working Group for the "Classification of Surface
Water Systems", UNESCO, Paris
Partner 4. The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Damascus
The Faculty of Civil Engineering was established at Damascus
University with the help of UNESCO in 1961. At present the total number
of students is about 2700.
At the faculty there are 135 academic staff (Professors,
Associate Professors and Assistant Professors). The Faculty comprises
of eight departments: Department of Structural Engineering; Department
of Engineering Management & Construction; Department of Water Engineering;
Department of Environmental Engineering; Department of Geotechnical Engineering;
Department of Transportation Engineering; Department of Topographical
Engineering and Department of Basic Sciences
The undergraduate programs (or the B.Sc.
program) spans over five year-period. The first three years are common
to all students, while in the last two years, the students are specialized
in any of the above mentioned civil engineering fields.
The postgraduate program comprises of
three parts; The Diploma program, which is a one-year
instructional program and can be prepared in any of the above mentioned
specializations (except Topographical Engineering which is due to start
soon), The Master program which is purely a research
program and can be prepared in any of the Diploma fields, and The
Doctoral Program which is available so far only in Structural
Engineering, Water Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Transportation
Engineering. It is worth mentioning that 6 PhD students are currently
enrolled in the Doctoral Program (mainly in Structural Engineering), however,
the faculty has awarded so far only one Doctoral degree in the field of
Syria is now undergoing a period of political, economic
and social changes. The government is currently implementing an ambitious
modernization program of all its institutions. All sectors of the economy
(private, public and mixed) are demanding high quality graduates of international
standards, especially in engineering, since the modernization program
involves the implementation of many engineering projects. Furthermore,
the Ministry of Higher Education is, for the first time, considering licensing
private universities that will undoubtedly compete with public sector
universities. All these factors are posing major challenges to the Syrian
higher education system.
The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Damascus University has
already started to address these challenges. Several important steps have
been taken in this regard such as:
- The Faculty has designed a new curriculum for its B.Sc. program that
takes into consideration latest advances in engineering sciences, especially
computer applications. The new curriculum is in the final phase of the
approval process by the Council of Higher Education.
- The Faculty is now in the process of updating its engineering laboratories.
Computer facilities are given special attention. Internet Access has
been reasonably available in the faculty for many years. This service
has improved enormously in the past year following the completion of
the Syrian Higher Education Research Network (SHERN).
The Faculty is considering establishing joint postgraduate
programs in certain important engineering subjects, such as Water Resources
Management, in cooperation with some European universities. This should
expose the faculty to foreign expertise and practices in higher education.
Related to this JEP project the Department of Water Engineering
will be interested in offering optional courses on “water
resources assessment” and “efficiency of water use”.
Partner 5. The Department of Civil Engineering
is part of the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST)
is offering graduate level and undergraduate degrees in four areas including
water resources and environmental engineering. For the time being the
accent of the offered courses is on the technical and engineering issues.
With the proposed project JUST wants to extend its offer with courses
on Conflict resolution and Socioeconomics so that to
equip its graduates with better means for meeting the needs of the Jordan
These new courses are going to be incorporated at the master’s
level of the specialty “Water resources and environmental engineering”
programme and will be made open to students from other backgrounds. The
Civil Society Development Centre (CSDC) of the university will adapt the
“Water rights and conflict resolution” syllabus for a semester
long course and for the purpose oriented participatory workshops. CSDC
is a newly established centre to participate in the national effort in
advancing the political and social development of Jordan.
In so far as JUST are educating students from more than
45 countries all over the world the enhanced programme offer of the university
will be able to reach very broad auditorium, hence, building a milestone
for the future knowledge networking and sharing.
The goal is to develop curricula for courses on the following
- Water Right And Conflict Resolution and
- Use of Economic Instruments for Water Management
Partner 6. The Al-Baath University at Homs
has 3800 students in 10 faculties. The Civil Engineering Faculty is offering
courses in 7 specializations: engineering of hydraulic structures, computation
of rigidity of structural components, irrigation and melioration, geodesy
and topography, geo-technical department, main sciences (physic, chemistry,
mathematics, etc.), water management and environmental protection, transport
and material sciences.
The proposed subject of “water resources assessment”
and “efficiency of water use” will be integrated in the program
of the departments of engineering of hydraulic structures, irrigation
and melioration and of water management and environmental protection.
Both subjects will be offered at the fifth study year and used as well
as for diploma preparation.