Urban Water Engineering and Management

You will learn to deliver both water and wastewater services within the context of the urban water cycle, covering both technical and management aspects.

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  • J

    What is Joint Programme

    Part of the programme is given at a partner institute, often in another country/continent. Joint programmes have varying start and end dates.

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Joint Programme, AIT, Bangkok, Thailand and IHE Delft, the Netherlands20 months, starts in August

For whom?

This specialization is intended for professionals from urban water and wastewater authorities, urban development ministries/authorities, water and environment ministries, private companies, academia, NGOs and city and municipal authorities dealing with or interested in water and sanitation services and managing the urban water cycle. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree preferably in Civil, Environmental or Water Resources Engineering or related fields are eligible to apply.


Students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the Master degree in Urban Water Engineering and Management. This degree will be awarded jointly by AIT and IHE Delft.

Joint programme

This specialization is a joint programme offered with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand.


Start: 15 August 2018
Application deadline: 01 June 2018

Learning objectives

Graduates of the Urban Water Engineering and Management specialization will:

  • Understand the urban water cycle and its water system components, their characteristics and functioning within greater urban infrastructure systems;
  • Understand urban water management problems including ability to: identify water systems’ demand; deal with climatic and hydrologic uncertainties and/or extremes; institutional limitations; and work within a data-constrained environment;
  • Be able to make appropriate and critical use of methods, techniques and tools necessary to monitor, analyse and design urban water systems including water supply infrastructure, drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection, treatment, transport and disposal systems and drainage systems;
  • Understand water infrastructure/asset planning, financing and management, and utility management;
  • Be familiar with the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and its application to a variety of water management problems at the urban catchment scale.

Structure & contents

The coursework part of the programme starts at AIT in Bangkok in August, where students follow a number of courses until the second half of December.

  • August - December

    AIT, Bangkok, Thailand
    • Drinking Water Treatment Required

      Course at AIT

    • Watershed Hydrology Required

      Course at AIT

    • Integrated Water Resources Management Required

      Course at AIT

    • Wastewater Treatment Required

      Course at AIT

In early January, they move to Delft where they join students in IHE Delft’s Urban Water and Sanitation programme till July.

  • January - July

    IHE Delft, The Netherlands
    • Asset Management Required
    • Managing Water Organizations Required

      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

      1. Explain the position and strategy of a water organisation in relation to its institutional environment.
      2. Summarize the scope , scale, structure and key work processes of organisations
      3. Analyze the management and decision-making processes in water organisations, including the management of change.
      4. Plan the use of performance analysis and benchmarking in the regulation and management of water organisations.
      5. Assess the processes of human resources, health and safety, management for integrity and sustainability, asset management and customer management.
    • Urban Flood Management and Disaster Risk Mitigation Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Develop enhanced understanding of the effects of climate variability on the hydrology that affects urban areas
      2. Understand the structure, service provided and failures of the service for urban stormwater /drainage networks; Urban Drainage Asset Management and Optimisation, and learn how to model these systems and how to apply a typical modelling product (MOUSE, MIKE11, MIKE21 and SWMM)
      3. Develop understanding of how to use the models to assess the performance of existing systems and how to design the new ones within the context of different flood risks (pluvial, fluvial, coastal and flash floods)
      4. Learn how to build safe and reliable urban drainage models and how to evaluate system performance against different standards (engineering, environmental, public health, etc.), and develop understanding of novel techniques for modelling the complex geometry and interaction between surface water (including floodplains), sub-surface flows and urban drainage infrastructure (1D and coupled 1D/2D)
      5. Learn how to produce different flood risk maps in a GIS environment and how to calculate different types of flood damages, and
      6. Develop understanding of structural and non-structural flood resilience measures such as, conventional and innovative structures, early warning systems, etc., and understand how to develop effective flood disaster management plans
    • International Fieldtrip and Fieldwork UWS Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. International Field Trip: To expose the participants, during a two week fieldtrip to a European country, to different international practises in the design, operation and management of water supply, wastewater, solid waste and urban civil infrastructure networks.
      2. Field Work: The fieldwork, carried out typically within the Netherlands but on location, is a one week work to make the students familiar with performing research on location, how to process real data, and to apply the newly acquired knowledge to a practical situation.
    • Elective module I UWS Required

      Industrial effluents treatment and residuals management - (UWS/SE/UWEM/10)
      - or - Water treatment processes and plants - (UWS/WSE/10)
      - or - Urban water systems - (WSE/HI/10B/e)
      - or - 
      module from another Programme

    • Advanced Water Transport and Distribution Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. distinguish between various sources of water quality problems in distribution networks;understand the basic corrosion mechanisms and suggest the list of preventive and reactive measures;
      2. understand the theory of advanced hydraulic and water quality modelling; apply state-of-the-art network software for assessment of irregular operational scenarios and develop a reliability-based and cost effective design using computer model.
      3. recognise the GIS and remote sensing technologies, and familiarise with the GIS-based techniques for sustainable planning and management of WTD systems;
      4. understand the theory of transient flows, and plan the measures to prevent/control water hammer;
      5. select modern tools for monitoring of operation, and planning of maintenance of WTD systems.
    • MSc Preparatory Course and Thesis Research Proposal for UWS Required

In August, students move back to Bangkok for their individual thesis research work with involvement of IHE Delft counterparts.

  • August - April

    AIT, Bangkok, Thailand

Tuition & fellowships

If you wish to receive more information about the fees and living costs of a specific Joint Programme, please send an e-mail to the fellowship officer, Ms Ineke Melis: i.melis@unesco-ihe.org

The following fellowships are recommended for prospective students who wish to study Urban Water Engineering and Management

  • Joint Japan Worldbank Graduate Scholarship Programme (JJ/WBGSP)

    ATTENTION: The call for applications for a JJ/WBGSP (Preferred Partner) Scholarship will open on 22 February 2018. The deadline to submit your admission letter to the Worldbank is 12 April 2018, so make sure you have send your application for admission to IHE Delft before 21 March 2018.

    The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is open to women and men from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master degree program in a development-related topic. View the complete list of JJ/WBGSP preferred Master Degrees currently offered here (IHE Delft programmes are listed under UNESCO-IHE).

    more info: www.worldbank.org

  • Orange Knowledge Programme

    The Orange Knowledge Programme merges the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) and NICHE into a single integrated approach. The Orange Knowledge Programme aims to advance the development of the capacity, knowledge and quality of both individuals and institutions in higher and vocational education. 

    more info: www.un-ihe.org/orange-knowledge-programme

Application & Admission

Admission requirements

Academic admission to IHE Delft MSc Programmes may be granted to applicants who provide evidence of having:

  • A university level Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, which has been awarded by a university of recognised standing, comparable in level with a Bachelor degree from a research university in the Netherlands.
  • A good command of the English language, if this is not the first language. All non-native English-speaking applicants must satisfy the English language requirements for IHE Delft's educational programmes.
  • A strong motivation to successfully complete the programme.

Several years of professional experience in an area of work related to the specialisation is an asset.

Application procedure

For admission to this programme you may apply to either IHE Delft or AIT. For IHE Delft please complete the online application form. For AIT you can download the application form from AIT's website, and submit the completed form with required documents. Alternatively, you can also submit your application online from the same website. Please mention clearly which programme you are applying for. 

The application deadline for the programme is 1 July of the year in which it starts. Take into account that, in case you wish to apply for financial assistance, the fellowship application deadline is usually much earlier.

For admission to the programme please complete the online application, the link to the application section of our website is available at the top of this page.

You need to submit the following documents:

  • Certified copies of degrees/diplomas.
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts. Authenticated or certified copies are copies with an official stamp to verify that the copies are true copies of original documents. This official stamp may be from one of the following: a solicitor/notary, the educational institution from where the student gained the diplomas or the local council/local authority/local government office.
  • Two reference letters, preferably one from a person that can judge students' professional abilities and one from a person that can judge his/her academic abilities. One recommendation letter has to come from the current employer (if available) and another one from the university the student graduated from. Letters have to have an official letterhead and need to be signed.
  • Motivation letter (maximum 500 words explanation why he/she applies for admission to the chosen programme).
  • Copy of passport.
  • Copy of results of English language test score (if required, see English language requirements).

Please note all documents are required to be in English, or officially translated into English.

One cannot apply for more than one programme per academic year, unless there is a period of at least 3 months between the starting dates of the programmes of interest. If a student applies for an Erasmus Mundus programme for which Erasmus Mundus fellowships are available, he/she can also apply for another programme. If the other programme is also an Erasmus Mundus programme, the applicant can submit up to 3 applications.

More information

Further questions about the application procedure can be addressed to:

Ms Ineke Melis
Admission and Fellowship Officer
Email: i.melis@un-ihe.org


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