Course description

According to Fortune "water promises to be to the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth century the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations." And the health of nations as well. This course introduces students to environmental assessment methods of water projects and programs including health impact assessment that contribute significantly to health protection and environmental sustainability. The course takes three approaches to the water question. The first with case studies drawn from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa targets the new sustainable development goal of water supply and sanitation (WSS) for all. The second studies women watersheds and the welfare of children and looks at climate change persistent drought and the reclamation of river basins for meeting human needs. The third involves water planning technology and management for healthy cities. Harvard's extensive policy and planning research on China's healthy cities initiative is also an area of focus. At course end students apply practical methods that inform prudent investment decisions on water security and safety and describe evidence-based water planning paradigms that support economic growth social and health development and environmental sustainability. The course includes a simulation of a major and controversial water policy problem that all students participate in solving.


Associated Schools

  • Harvard Division of Continuing Education

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