CAS Water Governance: Frameworks and Negotiations 2019

In 2018, and for the fourth year in a row, the Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum ranked water-related crises among the top five most impactful risks. Policy-makers need innovative skills to address the unprecedented challenges in water governance.



3 June 2019 - 15 June 2019
10 ECTS credits




Blended learning


+41 (0)22 379 07 69




Modules can be followed individually


  • For all modules taken as a package: CHF 3500.- 
  • Per module taken individually: CHF 1250.- 


  • Identify and analyse the new challenges of water resource management at the global scale, considering the whole water cycle
  • Analyse hydrodiplomacy and actors’ strategies and understand trends and functioning of water governance at the global level
  • Provide tools to water professionals for the analysis of water policy issues and the management of the resource in the face of risk and uncertainty
  • Develop work-related skills such as: ability to analyse international legal and institutional frameworks, and the related negotiations; ability to prevent and regulate water conflicts
  • Develop a community of practice in the field of water governance


Professional from different backgrounds (Public Administrations, International Organizations, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector) who aims to develop analytical skills on water governance processes

Learning outcomes

  • Implement strategies which take into consideration both political and practical issues of water management
  • Use tools for the analysis and the management of water policy issues, in a changing environment (political, economic, environmental)
  • Analyse legal framework, their development and the management scope of the resource
  • Manage complex situation and implement innovative solutions
  • Communicate effectively on policy and strategic issues regarding water resource
  • Anticipate inter and intra-sectoral water conflicts and resolve these conflicts with water management tools


5 modules:

  • MOOC Water Resources Management and Policy (online course)
  • Hydrology: Global Trends and Environmental Changes
  • International Water Law: from Universal to Regional and Basin Agreements
  • Right to Water Access: Law, Water and Development
  • Hydrodiplomacy


Prof. Géraldine PFLIEGER, Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S) and Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) and Prof. Christian BRETHAUT, ISE, University of Geneva


Dr. Denis LANZANOVA and Ms Maria GÜELL I PONS, University of Geneva


Swiss Confederation: Global Programme Water, Swiss Agency for Development, Geneva Water Hub; UNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics; Collaborations established with other administrations, companies and universities; Unparalleled competencies from the International Geneva in the field of water and conflict prevention are mobilised within this training programme
The management of water resources faces environmental, climatic, political and economic challenges. In this changing environment, innovative policies should be designed to foster collaborations between States, the civil society and the private sector. To this end, practitioners and decision-makers need to develop new analytical skills.

The Institute for Environmental Sciences of the University of Geneva launches the third edition of the certifying Summer School in “Water Governance: Framework and Negotiations”. This two-weeks training is aimed to deliver skills and knowledge based on the latest scientific research that are applicable in professional contexts. Participants will learn how to use water governance tools to address complex political situations, be resilient when a crisis strikes, and innovate in the face of risk and uncertainty.

In addition to the on-site classes given at the Summer School, a MOOC in Water Management and Policy is offered to the participants on the Coursera platform. Completion of the MOOC (ideally prior the Summer School) and of a final thesis are required to obtain the Certificate of Advanced Studies.


Modules are evaluated by the module leaders or the lecturers. Evaluations consist of written or oral tests. The portfolio thesis should be delivered on time.

Pedagogical method

Our teaching philosophy is to encourage interactions between the practice and results from scientific research. Trainers and participants will be invited to share their expertise and their professional experiences. 

• A strong involvement of participants who are invited to share their ideas and professional experiences
• A combination of academic knowledge and field expertise, based on the most recent research and concrete examples in the water and policy domain
• The development of skills transferable to a variety of business environments
• A multidisciplinary perspective of the international water governance

Diploma awarded

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Water Governance: Frameworks and Negotiations/ Le certificat de formation continue en Gouvernance de l'eau: structures et négociations is awarded, subject to the assessment criteria being met for each module, by the Institute for Environmental Sciences of the University of Geneva. It equates to 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) for 95 hours of on-site training.

Steering committee

Executive board : Prof. Géraldine Pflieger (director) and Prof. Christian Bréthaut (director), Institute for environmental sciences (ISE) University of Geneva


Monday – Friday : 8:15 am – 12:00 pm / 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Saturday : 8:15am – 12:15 pm

University faculty members, researchers, water experts at the international level

This Summer School is a unique opportunity to get “immersed” in water governance and gain an interdisciplinary perspective on water management. I got familiarized with the theoretical and empirical background of water governance, in particular the legal and institutional framework behind it. All in all, the two-weeks program was a rewarding experience with a cohort of participants from all around the world. Fatine Ezbakhe, Researcher, Polytechnic University of Catalunya, Spain       

The summer school was a very fruitful experience, a unique opportunity to meet water specialists and to get theoretical knowledge and practical training. I had the chance to meet practitioners in water management and hydro-diplomacy from different places and cultures. Ziad Tak, PhD., Lebanon 

I appreciated a lot to attend the course in international water governance. It gave me the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge taught through innovative teaching methods. Moreover, it was a wonderful opportunity to exchange with professionals from different countries and to get immerged for two weeks in an international environment. Virginie Entringer, administrative officer, CNRS, France   

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