Sign-Up: IWRA Master Classes on Water Cooperation & Diplomacy ❗

IWRA 2021 Master Classes on Water Cooperation & Diplomacy starting on Thursday, July 1st!

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) in collaboration with the Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD), are excited to launch a new online series of master classes on Water Cooperation & Diplomacy that will take place on the months of July, September and early October this year.

This series of ten weekly classes (see indicative programme here), will be held for two and half hours each, divided into:

  1. Public lectures: A 90-minute session, freely accessible and open to all; followed by,
  2. Skill-building workshops: Each session will run for 60 minutes, only for IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members. Registration will be on a first come first serve basis, as limited places are available. 

Confirmed dates and times:

  • Every Thursday of July, starting on July 1st until July 29th 
  • Every Thursday of September, starting on September 2nd until September 30th except for Thursday, September 16th, which is a religious holiday
  • First Thursday of October, this is on October 7th

Lecture Topic: Introduction to Water Cooperation & Diplomacy

Lecturer: Professor Aaron T. Wolf is a Professor of Geography at Oregon State University, USA, with an appointment as professor of Water Diplomacy at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.

This master class consisted of a presentation that surveyed the history of water conflicts and cooperation, and how tools of water cooperation and diplomacy can enhance dialogue between co-riparians. The class was followed by a skill – building workshop for IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

The workshop consisted of exploration techniques for identifying, for example:
° Cross-cultural models of understanding the sources of conflict and anger;
° Deep listening skills for identifying common values;
° Methods for elevating and nuancing dialogue as pathways to understanding;
° Self check-ins for potential conflicts within.

Take note: The IWRA Master classes’ workshops are only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in the workshop but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.


Lecture Topic: Concepts in Economics & Strategic Behavior for Management of International Water

Lecturer: Professor Ariel Dinar is Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the School of Public Policy, University of California, Riverside, USA. He served as lead economist on water and climate change for the World Bank. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Water Economics and Policy.

This master class described economic and strategic concepts of cooperation and how they are related to various river basin case studies. In addition, the lecture presented and discussed several global studies where the concept of cooperation was analyzed. Lastly, the lecture concluded with a class discussion on pros and cons of use of economics in measuring international water cooperation.

• Participants learned how to identify factors in river basins that could affect both positively and negatively the likelihood for cooperation among riparian states
• Participants acquired the understanding of ranking (qualitatively) the relative importance of each of the factors and how to take such information into account in order to increase likelihood of cooperation.

Take note: The IWRA Master classes’ workshops are only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in future workshops but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.

Lecture Topic: Approaching the SDGs as a System- Basic Observations

Lecturer: Professor János Zlinszky is an Associate Professor at the Department for Water Policy and Environmental Policy, University for Public Service (UPS), and at the Department for Environmental Law, Péter Pázmány Catholic University, both Budapest, Hungary. In addition to teaching courses in sustainable development and international environmental policy, he is also responsible for the MSc in Transboundary Water Management and Water Diplomacy at UPS.

As the global water crisis unfolds, development programs also turn to water provision as an issue. Building on the Millennium Development Program (2000-15), the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) – the present policy for global eco-social transformation – increased the profile of water. But how do you approach a to-do-list of 169 items?

Water has a dedicated SD Goal – is it therefore a “vertical” issue? Whose opinion about water should prevail: civil engineers, farmers, mayors, disaster prevention, tourism, health, ecology? Where is the right vantage point, could there be guidelines?

This Master Class will followed a discussion based on the above questions.  Diplomacy starts with the ability to observe, understand, and to never exclude one more possibility to explain something.


As experts and as negotiators, we develop the ability to concentrate, to focus, to follow instructions.
We develop useful habits to deal with frequent, familiar situations.
But, in the face of the obvious, can we allow for unexpected options? Can we keep an open mind? This simple, interactive practical assisted participants in getting inside such situations, through experience and a discussion on these questions.

It also enabled participants to pick up these tools for later use.

Take note: Workshops are only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in the workshop but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.

Lecture Topic: Science Diplomacy for Regional Integration of Water Security Agenda

Lecturer: Dr Nidhi Nagabhatla is a Senior Fellow with the UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Belgium. A sustainability science specialist with over 20 years of work experience, she led, coordinated, and implemented trans-disciplinary projects in various geographical regions of Asia, South Africa, Europe, and Americas working with international organizations viz., IWMI, World Fish Centre, IUCN, Asia Pacific Climate Center, and UN’s University (INWEH) leading research and capacity development initiatives. She is also affiliated with leading academics institutes: Oxford University (UK); Leibniz University (Germany), McMaster University (Canada) and Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (Bolivia) in research/professorship role toward sustainability research and science-policy interfacing and mentoring young professionals.

She serves as the chair of The Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (UNEP) and co-leads the ‘Water and Migration Working Group’ of FAO. Key areas of her research includes: environmental security, climate change adaptation, water and food security, environmental migration.

Focus of the lecture was:

a) What is science diplomacy?
b) Science diplomacy and water management in transboundary context.
c) Regional water governance and hydro diplomacy narratives.
d) Conflict settings, cultural diplomacy, regional integration, and political stability- new avenues for science diplomacy explained using the Lake Chad and the Congo Basin case study.

Useful Links:

Workshop details:

Assessment tools and narratives to boost water diplomacy in the migration context.

Water-related triggers and consequences of human displacement, as well as the scale of migration in the developing world, are aspects that are less visible in global migration and diplomacy discourse. We need to fill these gaps.
The workshop discussed an assessment of frameworks for water-migration nexus focusing on scenarios and case studies where water crisis is manifested as/via:

a) Water quality challenges
b) Water Quality settings – too much or too less water
c) Water extreme conditions – floods and droughts.

Participants jointly explored three case studies (Lake Chad, Aral Sea and Congo Basin) to understand multidimensional interlinkages between water- climate change impacts- conflict and migration nexus.

Useful Links:

Take note: Workshops are only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in future workshops but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.

Lecture Topic: Gender and Water Diplomacy


Jenniver Sehring is a Senior Lecturer in Water Governance and Diplomacy at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands. She coordinates the master programme “Water Cooperation and Diplomacy” as well as the DUPC2 Water Diplomacy Programme, and is an editor of the Central Asian Journal of Water Research (CAJWR).

Natasha Carmi is the Lead Water Specialist at the Geneva Water Hub since March 2018, and contributes to the establishment of the Global Water Observatory on Water and Peace, as well as the development of the women, water and peace agenda. Prior to that, she worked as policy advisor on water, environment and agriculture to the Palestinian Negotiations Support Project, working closely with decision makers, and has experience in bilateral and regional water negotiations.

Anamika Barua is a Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Science, at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, in India. Trained in Ecological Economics, her research aims to understand the political, social and economic factors that shape environmental decisions and sustainability transition in developing economies.

Water cooperation and diplomacy exist at the intersection of two policy fields that have been dominated by men: international relations and water resources management. Not only are women underrepresented in decision-making positions, also the processes, norms and policy priorities in water cooperation are highly gendered.

The lecture will look at how gender impacts water diplomacy processes and at the challenges and opportunities for increasing women’s participation in transboundary water cooperation at both national and regional levels.

The skills-building workshop will create awareness about the linkages between gender and leadership, focus on specific skills for negotiation, and provide practical tips and examples for increasing women’s participation and voice in water diplomacy.

Take note: Workshops are only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in the workshop but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.

Lecture Topic: Technologies in Hydropolitics and Hydrodiplomacy

Lecturer: David Katz is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, and is currently on sabbatical at the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University in the USA. He specializes in environmental and natural resource policy and economics. His research has focused on a range of topics including transboundary environmental and resource management, policy incentives for natural resource conservation, the relation between economic development and resource consumption, and valuation of ecosystem services..


Lecture Objectives:

This lecture will demonstrate how new technologies are changing the dynamics of cooperation and conflict over shared water resources. It will show how technologies such as desalination, remote sensing, online sensors and machine learning are challenging traditional thinking on transboundary water resources, by expanding and creating new avenues of cooperation, “democratizing” data, building trust based on shared knowledge, and allowing development of better and more reliable modeling and forecasting. It will also address the limitations and potential downsides of such “technical fixes.”

Workshop Details:

In the workshop participants will learn about various online tools that can be used to help in retrieving and analyzing transboundary water data.

It will also provide a simulation in which participants will be able to explore how various technologies could be integrated into negotiated solutions regarding shared water resources.

Take note: Workshop is only available to IWRA Gold and Silver members, as well as UPWCD students and members.

Interested in the workshop but not an IWRA member, sign up HERE.

Register for the master classes open lectures starting on Thursday, July 1st, by clicking here or below on the banner.                                                                                                                                      If you are an IWRA Gold or Silver member, send an email to to register for the first workshop. If you are an UPWCD member or student of an UPWCD member, register by sending an email to at the latest 72 hours before the start of the first workshop. Only a limited number of places are available! 

Water Diplomacy refers to all positive interactions among actors concerned with the management of shared water resources that aim to achieve peaceful and sound management of such resources. While practicing water diplomacy, such actors try to influence each other’s opinions, perceptions of facts, positions and interests to negotiate towards a mutually accepted solution concerning shared resources. 

This series of Master Classes will address the above issues, and help develop skills relevant to water diplomacy. Experts from around the world will participate and classes will be closely linked to each expert’s style and methodology, as well as to the distinct characteristics of each subject matter.  


  • The organisers of this event recognize that while all presentations will be live, the time difference between all regions of the world constitutes a main concern. Therefore, all recordings will be posted at, as soon as they become available. All lectures and workshops will be held in English only. 
  • Certificates will be made available for IWRA & UPWCD members who attend each entire master class.

Become an IWRA memberif you are not one already, so you can engage fully on these and other upcoming events and, of course, enjoy all the usual benefits of IWRA membership!

In case of any questions, please contact us at or visit

Register now and join us starting on Thursday, July 1st!