E-learning course: Water Footprint Assessment

13th November – 4th December 2017

About this course

'Water Footprint Assessment: Concept and Application’ is an online foundation course delivered by the University of Twente (the Netherlands) and University of the Free State (South Africa).
Developed by professor Arjen Hoekstra from University of Twente, with support of the World Bank Institute, this course introduces Water Footprint Assessment and explains how it can be implemented and applied to inform decisions related to water policy and management.
Water Footprint Assessment helps highlight the diverse benefits provided to people by fresh water (what, where and when) and explores how those benefits might change under different management options. In doing so, it can bring scientific information about water availability – and capacity to assimilate pollution – into decisions in practical ways. Using this approach, we can improve the state of biodiversity and human well-being by motivating more efficient and productive water use in business operations, cities, river basins and aquifers.

The course is split into five modules:

  1. Water Footprint Concept and Application
  2. Global Water Management
  3. Government Policy
  4. Corporate Strategy
  5. Calculating the Water Footprint

Module one introduces the concept of water footprint and the field of Water Footprint Assessment for those new to the issue. Module two explains how and why water management needs to be viewed from a global perspective and includes an introduction to virtual water flows. Modules three and four explain how Water Footprint Assessment can be used to inform strategy and policy – it uses specific examples to illustrate how the approach has worked in a variety of circumstances. The fifth module provides guidance on project scoping and on clarifying a project’s goals, and ways in which to identify sources of data to calculate the footprint of the relevant processes for the study. It then guides participants through a sustainability assessment and how to identify priority actions.

Course instructors

Water footprint experts from University of Twente and University of the Free State.

Intended audience

This course is intended for those interested in how Water Footprint Assessment can inform decisions taken by governments, multi-lateral development institutions, the public, private and finance sectors, and non-governmental organisations. There are no prerequisites for the course – it is suitable for all sectors that are concerned with sustainable water management and water stewardship and are interested in using the approach and tools in research or to influence decisions.
It is ideal for those wanting a flexible way of learning the basic foundations of Water Footprint Assessment and offers the advantages of studying at one’s own pace, around other commitments and without travel. As a foundation course, it can serve as a primer for those planning to attend the intensive Global Water Footprint Standard training course.

Registration and payment


Course fee: € 200 per participant. You can register by sending an email to: Mrs. Joke Meijer, joke.meijer@utwente.nl. Please mention: first name(s), surname, title(s), affiliation (including name and full address), email, telephone, and the billing address. After having received your registration, you will receive an invoice.