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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    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

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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 2020
Application deadline: 31 May 2020

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
    • Taught Part at AIT Required

      at AIT(August onwards) 

      • Watershed hydrology 
      • Drinking water treatmen
      • Wastewater treatment
      • Integrated water resources management 

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
    • Urban Drainage and Sewerage Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Be able to judge different design options and alternative scenarios
      2. Describe the chemical and biological processes that take place within sewer systems, and evaluate their implications for the design and operate of urban drainage systems
      3. Explain the standard practice in designing urban drainage systems. Prepare drainage system designs by integrating information on hydrological, hydraulic, economic and practical engineering concerns.
      4. Critically assess and analyse quantity and quality characteristics of stormwater and wastewaters originating from urban environments as a basis for the design, operation and maintenances of urban drainage system facilities.
    • Asset Management Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Describe the techniques used in asset inventories (e.g. condition rating) and describe the importance of data for asset management process.
      2. Explain Risk-based asset management decision making. Apply hydraulic modelling to establish significance of asset components of water distribution/drainage systems;
      3. Describe asset condition modelling approaches. Recommend suitable modelling approaches for practical problems and appraise the recent developments in the field of Asset Management of water infrastructure.
      4. Explain the historical processes that made asset management approach important for urban infrastructure engineers and managers and describe the drivers that make asset management crucial for sustainable provision of water related infrastructure services
      5. Describe the concept of asset life-cycle costing. Perform LCC calculations using spreadsheet; o Describe the role of optimization in asset management. Apply optimization techniques for solving simple urban water problems.
      6. o Define asset management in your own words. List and describe the essential steps of an asset management plan and provide example problems from one’s own experience which asset management approach would be/would have been able to solve;
    • Water Transport and Distribution Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. distinguish between the main components of non-revenue water and methods of leakage assessment, survey, detection and control;
      2. propose preliminary hydraulic design that will integrate economic aspects, choose adequate components, and judge technical solutions dealing with the network maintenance, rehabilitation, and expansion;
      3. understand the basic corrosion mechanisms and suggest the list of preventive and reactive measures.
      4. demonstrate understanding of the steady-state hydraulics by being able to select appropriate pipe diameters, indicate optimum location of reservoirs and identify pumps capable to supply the demand;
      5. distinguish between different network configurations and supplying schemes; recognise various consumption categories and their growth patterns, including water leakage; define the relation between the main hydraulic parameters
      6. apply the above theoretical knowledge by learning to perform computer-aided hydraulic calculations and predict the consequences of demand growth on the hydraulic performance of particular WTD system
    • Urban Flood Management and Disaster Risk Mitigation Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Propose and judge different adequate technical rehabilitation measures to mitigate urban flooding.
      2. Develop understanding of structural and non-structural flood resilience measures such as, conventional and innovative structures, early warning systems, etc.
      3. Learn how to produce different flood risk maps in a GIS environment and how to calculate different types of flood damages, and
      4. 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)
    • International Fieldtrip and Fieldwork UWS Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. International Field Trip: To expose the participants to different international practises in the design, operation and management of water supply, wastewater, solid waste and urban civil infrastructure networks.
      2. Fieldwork: To familiarize the participants with performing research on location, how to process real data, and how to apply the newly acquired knowledge to a practical situation.
    • Elective module 10 UWS Elective

      Choose one of the following modules:

      • Industrial effluents treatment and residuals management
      • Water Treatment Processes and Plant Design
      • Urban water systems

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

  • Orange Knowledge Programme

    The Orange Knowledge Programme is a €195-m Dutch global development programme, available in 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched mid-2017, it aims to have provided tens of thousands with the possibility to change their future through education and training by mid-2022.

    More info:

    Orange Knowledge Scholarships for MSc Programmes

    Orange Knowledge Scholarships for Short Courses

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; in maximum 500 words explain why you wish to be admitted to the chosen programme, how it will benefit you in the future. The letter also must show that you understand what the chosen programme is about.
  • 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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