Managing Resilient Water Utilities

Impacts of climate change on available water resources, increasing water demand and the growing societal concerns about environmental sustainability provide increasing challenges for water utilities. This course discusses how water utilities can become more resilient by investigating experiences of Dutch water utilities to increase resilience.

Apply now for

OKP and MSP Scholarship

If your are eligible, consider to apply for an Orange Knowledge or MENA Scholarship Programme. Interested? Apply for admission to this course by 25 September 2022.

For whom?

Professionals working in and with water utilities. This may be staff of water utilities, staff of water services regulators, government employees working in Ministries dealing with water utilities, staff of NGOs engaged with water utilities.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 29 May 2023
End: 09 June 2023
ECTS credit points: 3
Deadline IHE application: 28 April 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3500

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Describe and contrast different definitions and interpretations of resilience
  2. Explain how different water utilities have operationalized and implemented the concept of resilience
  3. Analyze the change processes aimed at making water utilities more resilient;

Course content

The managing resilient Water Utilities Course consists of three main blocks.

Block 1: Resilience

The first block concerns a broad discussion about the concept of resilience. In this block the history of the concept is discussed, different interpretations of the concept and how it is used in different disciplines. In this block the importance of the concept in relation to important water supply sector challenges is also elaborated upon.

Block 2: The Resilient Water Utility

In the second block, the course looks at how resilience has been incorporated in the strategy and operations of water utilities. Different water utilities tend to have different understandings of resilience and will emphasize different operationalizations of the concept. Particularly in the Netherlands where both surface water and groundwater utilities co-exist, we see that different water providers develop different understandings of what a resilient water utility entails. As the course is co-organized by VEI Dutch Water Operators visits to different water utilities will be facilitated to be able to understand from utility staff themselves how their utility approaches resilience.

Block 3: Organizing Change for Resilient Utilities

The second block looks at how shifts to becoming a resilient water utility takes place in practice. Often water utilities have established a working culture and ways of operating that have not changed much for a long period of time. Moreover, a lot of staff of water utilities tend to work at these organizations for a long time. In such a context it is relatively difficult to develop and implement change management programmes that seek to make the utility more resilient as it may require changes in the way of working and changes in attitudes of employees. This block thus engages with the question how organizational change can be facilitated to establish new working procedures and attitudes. In this block a combination of more theoretical class-room sessions will be combined with exercise-like workshop sessions and visits to water utilities to learn from experiences of water utilities that have gone through this change management process. 


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