Water Conflict Negotiation and Mediation

Conflicts, with different intensities and impacts, abound in the water sector at all levels. This short course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to consider conflicts from the perspective of their management and resolution at different levels, and to consider how and what tools of diplomacy can be engaged to deal with them.

For whom?

This short course is designed for current and future water managers, decision-makers and others involved in water management and water policy. Participants need to have obtained a bachelor degree in a relevant subject (i.e. biology, economics, engineering, law, social sciences, water management) and preferably have several years of relevant working experience.


Participants should have followed the Water Conflict Analysis module. In addition, they need to have a bachelor degree and several years of working experience in a relevant field (water or environmental management, conflict management or similar topics).

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Describe, assess and apply tools for the analysis of water conflicts in preparation of conflict management processes
  2. Identify and assess the mechanisms for the management and resolution of water conflicts
  3. Explain and evaluate the elements of and approaches to conflict management processes (including negotiations and mediation), and apply related skills to prepare, organise and engage in those processes
  4. Assess different tracks and tools of water diplomacy

Course content

The short course is divided into three components. The first focuses on analyses to better understand the conflict at hand in order to determine potentially applicable conflict resolution mechanisms. The second considers water diplomacy and the tools it provides for parties to engage with each other. Finally, engaging with the different types of mechanisms available to parties at different levels and in different contexts, as well as evaluating the applicability and ethics, represent a substantial part of the module, and are covered theoretically and practically.


It is possible to take part in the examination of this short course. If you obtain a passing mark for this examination and return to IHE Delft within four years after completion of the short course to follow a full MSc programme, you will receive exemption for this short course/module. The costs for this exam are €250 extra and should be borne by yourself. Taking part in the examination is not compulsory.


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