Agricultural Water Management for Enhanced Land and Water Productivity

You will learn to deal with the scientific and engineering knowledge needed for the sustainable management of water for agriculture and food security, irrigation and drainage, IWRM, agronomy, hydrology and hydrodynamics.

  • D
  • 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 Netherlands 20 months, starts in August

For whom?

Young professionals working at ministries, authorities, river basin and water users associations, universities, research institutes, civil society organisations, and consultants dealing with or interested in the fields of planning, water resources, agriculture, environment, public works, or related fields.


Students who successfully complete this programme will be awarded two Master degrees: one from IHE Delft and one from AIT. The degree students receive from IHE Delft is the MSc degree in Water Science and Engineering, with a specialization in Hydraulic Engineering - Land and Water Development. AIT will award a degree in Water Engineering and Management.


Start: 15 August 2017
Application deadline: 01 July 2017

Learning objectives

After completing this specialization, you will: 

  • Have in-depth understanding and specific knowledge of the latest concepts and theories of irrigation, drainage, flood protection, land reclamation and consolidation technologies for sustainable development, and the cross-sectoral linkages comprehending wider aspects of society, economy and the environment;
  • Be able to use the latest hydraulic engineering and hydrological methods to apply in planning, design and implementation of irrigation, drainage and flood protection schemes, independently or in a multidisciplinary team;
  • Be able to identify and cross-evaluate alternative land and water development options for areas under different land uses and assess their feasibility; technologically, economically, and environmentally;
  • Be able to engage in or advise the developers, system managers and water users on the participatory development and management, including operation and maintenance of the irrigation, drainage and flood protection schemes;
  • Have acquired knowledge and understanding of contemporary research issues in the field of land and water development.

Structure & contents

The AWM programme offers students the possibility to study at two renowned institutes for international postgraduate education: AIT and IHE Delft. 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
    • Hydrodynamics Required

      Course at AIT

    • Irrigation and Drainage Engineering Required

      Course at AIT

    • Watershed Hydrology Required

      Course at AIT

    • Integrated Water Resources Management Required

      Course at AIT

In early January, they move to Delft where they join students in IHE Delft’s Water Science and Engineering programme for nine modules including the international field trip. Students then move back to Bangkok for their individual thesis research work.

  • January - August

    IHE Delft, The Netherlands
    • Design Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Analyse and evaluate the various types of flow and to apply the hydraulic principles for uniform and non-uniform open channel, and flow in specific hydraulic structures in irrigation and drainage engineering issues
      2. Analyse soil-water-crop yield relationships, management options under land or water scarcity and water saving techniques, and be able to determine crop water requirements
      3. Discuss crop water requirements, drainage requirements and understand their mutual relationship
      4. Determine the boundary conditions required for water delivery and distribution systems at field level
      5. Select appropriate irrigation and drainage methods under different physical and agricultural circumstances
      6. Make a preliminary layout and design of a gravity irrigation and drainage network at tertiary level.
    • Tertiary Unit Design and Hydraulics Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Analyse and evaluate and to apply the hydraulic principles for pipe flow in irrigation and drainage engineering.
      2. Present, process and interpret results of hydraulic laboratory measurements in a technical report
      3. Explain the principles of the hydrological cycle, the basic characteristics of precipitation and evaporation, the principles of reservoir operation.
      4. Apply some statistical tools used in hydrology, rainfall-runoff relations and design floods
      5. Have an understanding of water-crop yield relationships, management options under land or water scarcity and water saving techniques and be able to determine crop water requirements.
    • Socio-economic and Environmental Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Select a suitable flow control system, the appurtenant flow control structures and to specify the operation rules of the structures and social implications of applied irrigation techniques for different users
      2. Assess the sediment transport in irrigation canals and to evaluate the effect of various operation scenarios on the sedimentation; make a design of the horizontal and vertical alignment of irrigation canals considering various sediment conditions and modes of operation and maintenance;
      3. Discuss the importance of all environmental and social aspects that complete the determination of the feasibility of any land development project
      4. Describe the economic feasibility of land development projects and have a first understanding of financial reporting
    • Conveyance and Irrigation Structures Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Make simple unsteady flow computations for open channels and closed conduits;
      2. Apply DUFLOW for non-steady flow phenomena in open irrigation and drainage networks; to evaluate the results and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the model for solving surface flow problems;
      3. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of various numerical schemes for solving sets of equations in surface flow modelling and to select the appropriate models for stationary and non-stationary flow in open channels and in pipes and to evaluate the results
      4. Understand the factors that influence the functioning of a surface drainage system and design a surface drainage system;
      5. Select the appropriate type of structure for irrigation and drainage networks, to establish the boundary conditions and to prepare a preliminary hydraulic design;
      6. Select a suitable flow control system, the appurtenant flow control structures and to specify the operation rules of the structures and social implications of applied irrigation techniques for different users.
    • Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Formulate objectives for irrigation development, modernisation and management and understand the consequences for irrigation management and users
      2. Comprehend various forms and levels of irrigation management organisations and different levels of water delivery service and associated costs
      3. Have gained insights into the laws, legislations, and traditions pertaining to the development and use of water resources for agriculture
      4. Identify the relation between water rights arrangements and water delivery, allocation and decision-making
      5. Design water management plans including justifiable decisions on agreements between stakeholders, water delivery and distribution between different users, division of tasks and responsibilities including payments among stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluation for assessing system performance
    • Fieldtrip and Fieldwork WSE Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Demonstrate a multidisciplinary overview of actual technical, research and organizational activities in the field of water management, hydraulic engineering and hydrology.
      2. Report detailed technical information received.
      3. Select and apply different, appropriate field instrumentation and measurement methods in practice and organise the measurement.
      4. Critically analyse field results, and identify/recognise possible areas of error or uncertainty.
      5. Integrate quantitative measurements with qualitative terrain observations and prior information to evaluate and analyse the relevant predominant processes in a study area.
      6. Apply this assimilation of data to engineering cases.
    • Innovative Water Systems for Agriculture Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Design sprinkler and drip irrigation systems
      2. Critically reflect on the different aspects of the use of groundwater in irrigation and discuss the theoretical background related to the groundwater flow
      3. Identify the suitability of various types of pumps in specific situations, to define the boundary conditions for the application of pumps and lifting devices, to assess the requirements for operation and maintenance.
      4. Discuss the merits and the limitations of the use of solar energy as a renewable resource to support energy demand in irrigation systems
      5. Explain the pitfalls of applying conventional design, sediment management, water governance and operation and maintenance models for the development of Flood-based farming systems
      6. At a watershed level, analyses different interventions for optimizing the use of floods for food and water security and enhancement of ecosystem services

Tuition & fellowships

Information about tuition fees can be found here.

The following fellowships are recommended for prospective students who wish to study Agricultural Water Management for Enhanced Land and Water Productivity

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

    ATTENTION: The call for applications for a JJ/WBGSP (Preferred Partner) Scholarship will open in February 2018. The deadline to submit your provisional admission letter to the Worldbank is 12 April 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:

  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)

    The current phase of the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes has ended. At this moment the outlines of a new capacity building programme (including fellowships) called 'KOP', are being developed.

    more info:


    Use the Nuffic Grantfinder to find a suitable fellowship

Application & Admission

Admission requirements

Academic admission to the Master programmes may be granted to applicants who provide evidence of having:

  • a university level Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field for the specialization, 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 all IHE Delft's educational programmes.

Working experience in an environment related to the specialization is an asset. At least three years experience is in general preferred.

Application procedure

For admission to the programme you can 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 form. The link is available at the top of this page. Collect the required documents and attach them to the online application form:

  • 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 recommendation 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 and dated.
  • Motivation letter (maximum 500 words explanation why he/she applies for admission to the choosen 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.

Once academically accepted this admission remains valid for three consecutive years. In principle one can not apply for more than one programme per academic year. However, if a student applies for an Erasmus Mundus programme, he/she can also apply for another programme as long as it is not also an Erasmus Mundus programme. Academic admission to the programmes will be granted on the basis of a decision taken to that effect by the Academic Registrar, upon advice of the programme coordinator.

More information

Further questions about the application procedure can be addressed to:

Ms. Ineke Melis
Admission and Fellowship Officer