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International River Basin Management (ENEN90037)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeENEN90037
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


River basins, where human civilisation comes from, are challenged by increasing population pressures, rapid urbanization and climate change impact. A river basin is a semi-closed ecological and economic system, representing logical management units of the water cycle, throughout which all decisions and actions have interdependent ecological, social and economic implications. Thus, river basin management needs interdisciplinary knowledge. This subject aims to equip tomorrow’s water managers with the adaptive approach by linking cutting edge knowledge to stress-tested practices in river basin management.

This subject includes of a 5-7 day field trip held in either China or Australia (in 2017 the field trip will be in Australia) and a major group project to tackle a real river basin management challenge completed mostly during a 1 week intensive workshop. Students are responsible for the cost of travel, accommodation and food.

Intended learning outcomes


This subject aims to equip students who are interested in environment and natural resource management with a whole-of-system approach in managing a co-evolved social-ecological system-river basin. It helps students with engineering background and interest to understand how their engineering knowledge and skills contribute to a real co-evolved social-ecological system. Specifically:

  1. Compare the historical development of large multi jurisdictional river basins from an economic, social and environmental perspective
  2. Identify links between the historical development and the management challenges facing the current generation of river basin managers
  3. Critique the policy and other reforms designed to solve a range of river basin management challenges
  4. Create new solutions to particular contemporary river basin management challenges.
  5. Identify and describe the key elements involved with modelling water resource systems

Generic skills

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex realities
  • Field work skills
  • Cross-cultural communication and research skills
  • Research Project design
  • Teamwork.

Last updated: 3 April 2019