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Sustainable drinking water management; integrating health, environmental and socio-economic aspects (2015)

ECTS credits: 5


Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: 26-29 January 2016
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 32 contact hours/132 in total
Capacity limits: 24


Objectives of the course:
The purpose of the course is to introduce participants to key issues in sustainable drinking water management relating to human health, environmental protection and sustainable management principles. The course will provide participants an understanding of how to apply a high level of scientific expertise to the assessments required under the recent amendments to the EU’s drinking water directive.


Learning outcomes and competences:

  • Understanding of the European Union framework for sustainable water supply and its shortfalls
  • Insights into key natural and anthropocentric contaminants of drinking water
  • The significance of high quality water supply for public health and life-long wellbeing
  • Conducting risk appraisals within the framework of impact-pathway analysis
  • Use of public registries and big data to track long-term risks from micro-pollutants and geogenic compounds
  • Water resource depletion dynamics related to economic growth, urbanization and climate change
  • Demand-side and supply-side management approaches to public water supply
  • Use of legal and economic instruments for sustainable water management
  • Understanding of the value of GIS as a tool for upscaling health exposures from drinking water

Compulsory programme:

  • To pass the course, all participants are expected to:
  • Read course literature
  • Attend and participate actively in discussions during lectures and exercises
  • Present the course perspective on their PhD project and act as primary discussant for the presentation of a fellow participant
  • Submit
    1. a country report and
    2. a draft academic paper within the framework of the course literature, related to their PhD research.

Course contents:
A preliminary programme providing some details on the session, speakers as well as other information is available here. The course will be held in English; no translations will be provided.

Before the course commences, each student is expected to write and submit a short report (5-8 pages) on home country drinking water management, i.e. water supply challenges, institutional framework, management approaches and the key hazards to humans and the environment in present and future water supply.

The on-campus part of the course will consist primarily of lectures, case-based exercises and hands-on calculus work in teams. The course includes an excursion to water supply facilities. The participants will be introduced to the available technologies for healthy water supply based on extraction of groundwater.

Subsequent the on-campus part of the course, the students must write an individual report. These should be related to their PhD project, and must include a system analysis (initiated on-campus) of an identified problem and suggested solutions.


The course is for PhD students enrolled at universities in the European Union and elsewhere.

Participants should have a background in environmental science, geoscience, public health, systems analysis, applied economics or related fields. Participants should preferably have some interest in conducting integrated assessments.


Name of lecturers:
Prof. Mikael Skou Andersen, Dept. of Environmental Science, AU
Associate prof. Søren Munch Kristiansen, Dept. of Geoscience, AU
Senior scientist Birgitte Hansen, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Prof. Torben Sigsgaard, Dept. of Public Health, AU
Prof. Carsten Bøcker Pedersen, CIRRAU, Dept. of Economics, AU


Type of course/teaching methods:
Lectures, problem based case studies, presentations by participants and reporting


Approximately 500 pages


Course homepage:
Coming soon at:


Course assessment:
The course will be evaluated as passed/not-passed based on the course participation, the two reports, and the oral presentations.


The interdisciplinary research network AUtapwater at Aarhus University.
c/o Department of Environmental Science.


Special comments on this course:


26-29 January 2016


AIAS; Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies,
Aarhus University,
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade,
DK-8000 Aarhus C.


Deadline for registration is 21 December 2015. Information regarding admission will be sent out 4 January 2016. Registration fee is DKK 733 (€98) which will cover course materials and a dinner.

Register here:

Accommodation in University guest house: DKK 360 (~€49) per night (subject to availability).

If you have any questions, please contact prof. Mikael Skou Andersen, e-mail: or associate prof. Søren Munch Kristiansen, e-mail:        


Travel advice for Aarhus:

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Revised 05.11.2018