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International Perspectives

A stylized map of the globe showing Iowa City with rays of light radiating out from it across the map.

International Opportunities in Water Resources Science and Management

In 1997, a visionary professor, V.C. Patel, anticipated the globalization of our world and initiated a short course to prepare the water engineer for a global future: the International Perspective in Water Resources Science and Management.  The vision was right as during its first 12 years, the course attracted more than 230 undergraduate and graduate engineering and non-engineering students in unique professional trips all over the world.  At that time, the course was an innovation in engineering curriculum by enabling students to study the effects of major water resources projects on the society and the environment through short (2-3 weeks), but intense, international visits. Each new offering of the course took the students in another world country. Each day of the trip took students to another place to expose them to the multi-faceted issues surrounding the management of water resources projects.  The overall goals of the international perspective course is to increase students’ sensitivity and awareness of global water issues and to enhance their understanding of international processes and decisions in water management.

India Winterim

Students walk through a field in IndiaSince 2011, the international IIHR-led course has become the water-resource track of the India Winterim Study Abroad program ( The  new format of the course includes the same destination: India’s Mewat – an underdeveloped area of India where securing the freshwater needed for drinking and cooking is a daily hardship.   The specific aspect of this course is that student participants work on a larger scope the project aimed at making the Mewat villagers aware the on the alarming rates of fresh water depletion and providing low-cost solutions to enhance the meager freshwater supplies.  The class is actually a real-life project that engage every student based on their background and skills. The interdisciplinary nature of the course enable students to benefit from the exchange of ideas and learn to adapt, adjust, and work with one another.

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Last modified on September 11th, 2019
Posted on June 1st, 2010

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