Applications Invited for Online Course on Fundamentals of Freshwater Health
IHE Delft Institute


About the Organization

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The Institute confers fully accredited MSc degrees, and PhD degrees in collaboration with partner universities.

About the Course

Protecting and restoring healthy freshwater systems requires understanding the structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems and how these are impacted by altered water levels and flows, pollution, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. It requires use of indicators to measure health and the implementation of good governance and management approaches.

This open online course explores fundamental aspects of each of these topics through interactive lectures, relevant readings and practical exercises. And it introduces participants to Conservation International's Freshwater Health Index. Participants completing the fundamentals course will also become eligible for a more advanced course beginning in early 2022 and delving deeper into the same topics.

The course is free and available to anyone interested in protecting and restoring freshwater ecosystem health, but is designed with practitioners, policy makers and informed stakeholders in mind.

How it works

The Freshwater Health Index (FHI) allows resource managers, engineers, policy makers and other stakeholders to evaluate scenarios, understand tradeoffs, prioritize interventions and communicate basin health with a broad audience by:

Transforming data into commonly scaled indicators (on a 0-100 scale), providing a baseline diagnosis of a basin’s health.

Tracking freshwater health over time through an iterative process between scientists, end-users and other stakeholders for a result that is salient, credible and useful.

Evaluating potential impacts from climate change, land-cover change, population growth and water allocation decisions.

Because the FHI helps make trade-offs more explicit, it can help direct policies and practices that maintain healthy watersheds into the future.

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