New Course!

Course Delivery:

This is the latest course in our series of ‘ Commons Management & Governance’ series of on-line short courses, launched in 2015, focusing on different aspects of commons: their management, governance and sustainability.

‘Source to sea – the governance of water’ focuses on the management, governance and sustainability of surface and ground waters. Water is a resource essential to life but in many parts of the world access and use are becoming more restrictive through appropriation of water rights. Surface and ground waters provide a wide range of ecosystem services including provision of drinking water, food, irrigation, navigation, energy, and biodiversity. These uses are often in conflict and as populations increase there is increasing pressure for both state control and privatization of water resources at different stages through the water cycle.

The course will examine the role water plays in society in its journey from the source of rivers to the sea, increasing participant’s understanding of the hydrological cycle as we look at a range of problems currently experienced along the way, including pollution, flood, drought, and water shortage. It will then examine different legal regimes controlling access, use, and water rights, including situations where water is managed as a commons resource, using examples from around the world to illustrate the discussion. Ostrom’s institutional analysis and development framework will be applied to the notion of integrated watershed management as a means of exploring the potential to improve water governance.

Participants who complete the course will improve their understanding of a range of water management regimes in different parts of the world. Through exploration of water as a commons or shared resource, participants will gain an increased awareness of the potential for alternative forms of management and governance.

Who will benefit from taking this course?

The course is targeted at those wanting to learn more about the management and governance of water as a common pool resource. It will be of interest to practitioners involved in supporting community water management and development, policy makers involved in designing policy, programmes, or initiatives for water management and use, as well as a wide range of those involved in, or wanting to learn about, the basics of taking action to protect rights of access to water resources.

The on-line short courses are sponsored by the IASC and have been made possible by a development grant from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The course will be delivered by the Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire (UK), under the auspices of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).

It will be delivered through a distance learning approach over a six-week period.

Registration will enable you to access a Moodle site which holds all the course materials (e.g. readings, video and audio pods, exercises) and provides space for on-line discussion. There are no special IT requirements in order to be able to access the materials. The course provides a structured approach that takes participants through the materials with regular on-line discussion support.

Please contact the CCRI Administrator, Carol Markey, on 01242 714122 or by email to if you are interested in taking this course.


More information about the Series
See Commons Management & Governance – Short Courses

The development of this course was sponsored by IASC and has been made possible by a development grant from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)