AGRIBUS 3064 - Water Security & Governance UG

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This elective course examines the historical, cultural and socio-political contexts of water governance and the range of legal, policy and administrative arrangements for developing, allocating, managing and protecting water resources internationally. In that respect it will cover off on water governance issues (rules of the game), institutions involved in its management (players of the game) and the increasingly complex range of issues involved in allocating and using water resources (game-changing issues such as climate change). Course topics include: historical introduction to international water governance and security issues; a raised awareness of the cross-jurisdictional, multi-level and multi-institutional processes involved; the intersecting and interrelated interests around water resource use and frameworks for stakeholder consultation; examination of the theoretical and practical frameworks for water security issues such as allocation and trade; and exploring recent remediation programs to counter land and water degradation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code AGRIBUS 3064
    Course Water Security & Governance UG
    Coordinating Unit Centre for Global Food and Resources
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Taught as an intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description This elective course examines the historical, cultural and socio-political contexts of water governance and the range of legal, policy and administrative arrangements for developing, allocating, managing and protecting water resources internationally. In that respect it will cover off on water governance issues (rules of the game), institutions involved in its management (players of the game) and the increasingly complex range of issues involved in allocating and using water resources (game-changing issues such as climate change).

    Course topics include: historical introduction to international water governance and security issues; a raised awareness of the cross-jurisdictional, multi-level and multi-institutional processes involved; the intersecting and interrelated interests around water resource use and frameworks for stakeholder consultation; examination of the theoretical and practical frameworks for water security issues such as allocation and trade; and exploring recent remediation programs to counter land and water degradation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Adam Loch

    Role: Course coordinator and Lecturer
    Location:  6.18, Nexus10 (10 Pulteney Street)
    Email: Adam.Loch@adelaide.edu.au

    Other Lecturer(s)
    Name: Prof Sarah Wheeler
    Role: Lecturer
    Location:  6.17, Nexus10 (10 Pulteney Street)
    Email: Sarah.Wheeler@adelaide.edu.au
    Name: Dr Alec Zuo
    Role: Lecturer
    Location:  6.20, Nexus10 (10 Pulteney Street)
    Email: Alec.Zuo@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Describe the historical context of water governance in Australia and other contexts and identify the critical points of institutional change.
    2. List important policy or program options for managing water scarcity and compare their effectiveness in different situations.
    3. Explain the multi-jurisdictional governance of water and analyse reasons as to why this approach is adopted.
    4. Critically discuss the drivers of water scarcity and explain the usefulness of economic instruments such as trade, pricing and allocation.
    5. Identify appropriate assessment tools such as non-market valuation techniques, frameworks for interrelated stakeholder consultation, and water resource planning to case studies.
    6. Identify the possible future outcomes of water governance decisions taken today, and explain the merits/costs of these decisions.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    2,3,4,6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1,3,6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4,5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no specified learning resources required for the course. A lecture outline and recommended reading in preparation for each seminar will be made available, together with a list of additional readings for those wishing to explore issues further. However, there are a number of additional recommended resources that students might like to examine either in preparation for the course discussions or as part of their wider examination of water governance in Australia
    Recommended Resources
    The following are excellent (but not required) text examples. The library does not hold a copy of these texts in its collection, but an electronic version of the individual contributions is freely available at http://www.elgaronline.com/view/9781782549642.xml :

    Dinar, A. and Schwabe, K. (2015), A Handbook of Water Economics, Edward Elgar Press, Northampton MA.
     
    Griffin, R. (2016), Water Resource Economics, 2nd Edition, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.

    Legislation and planning:
    • The Water Act (C’wth: 2007)
    • The National Water Initiative
    • The Murray–Darling Basin Agreement
    • Commonwealth Environmental Watering Plans
    Websites:
    Academic journals frequently referred to:
    • Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AJARE)
    • Ecological Economics (Ecol Econ)
    • The American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE)
    • Water Resources Research (WRR)
    • Water Resources Management (WRM)
    • Agricultural Water Management (AWM)
    Cases:
    All case studies will be made available on the course website or via links to relevant external sites. All cases will be freely available.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Weekly sessions will be delivered by one of the lecturers, but all lecturers will participate in the course delivery at critical stages (e.g. the debate). The course coordinator will provide a central point of contact for students.

    The delivery will be a blended approach using 1.5 hour lectures, course discussion of readings to provide for flipped learning outcomes, and class activities (e.g. game-playing, case studies, debate etc.) for learning development beyond the lecture mode. Students will be required to demonstrate their capacity to locate information, absorb its detail, consider the implications of that information in the context of interest and demonstrate that in the provision of solutions or suggestions for policy/program arrangements. Useful links and tips will be provided in the course materials, and interaction will assist all students to learn from one another.

    A role-playing game will be the culmination of the learning mode toward the end of the course where students will be asked to separate into seven teams representing different stakeholders in a fictitious basin setting. Each team has set objectives and must negotiate under the supervision of a coordinating authority (the Ministerial Council) in an attempt to reach consensus. All teams have set instructions and notes to assist them play their role, and assessment is based on preparation, engagement, and eventual negotiation outcomes
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    There is no expected pre-requisite knowledge or course-work for this course. During the course, consistent with the nature of real-world water governance requirements, students will be encouraged to develop a multi-disciplinary perspective and approach to tackling problems posed in the course through group-work and in-class exercises.

    As such:

    Core information will be provided to students ahead of course commencement and basic principles will be outlined and developed in the lecture component of the course. Seminar sessions will be used to more deeply develop and apply these core concepts through the use of flipped discussion, problem solving activities and interactive student engagement. In-class activities will form the basis for much of the interaction, where real-world issues will be discussed and solutions developed by the group on the basis of their learning to date. Students will be assessed on their participation in these activities.

    At the conclusion of the course, students will take on a Basin management role as part of a role-playing game that explores water management issues and the realities of negotiation and strategy. Depending on numbers, students may undertake the role individually or as a group member. Students will be expected to read and understand their respective role ahead of that session, and come prepared to defend their assigned position with argument. Engagement with the role, innovative thinking, and eventual negotiation outcomes will form the basis for their final assessment.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The structure and seminar topics for each session is set out below. At the commencement of the course a more detailed structure would be made available to the student group. Note that as an intensive course it is expected that the course delivery will be broken into two six-hour sessions per week (e.g. Tuesdays and Thursdays) over a total of three weeks to accumulate the required 36 contact hours. Format for those sessions would be two 1.5-hour lectures followed with two 1.5-hour practical seminars for flipped discussion, case study analysis, debate and small-group work. Additional work outside of contact hours for course reading and planning by students would also be taken into account.

    Session Lecture Topic Key seminar activitites
    1 Introduction to global water security issues Get to know your classmates and interests
    2 Uncertainty as a growing influence in water governance complexity
    3 Supply and demand solutions to water resource governance Case study 1: Water wars!
    4 Sectoral use of water resources
    5 Values of water resources I
    6 Values of water resources II Case study 2: Urban water pricing
    7 Property rights, allocation mechanisms and rights structures
    8 Economic instruments as a tool for water governance
    9 The Murray-Darling Basin water reform case: Australia leading the world Case study 3: Basin planning as a governance approach
    10 Basin Planning and reform options: buyback versus efficiency
    11 The Great Water Debate Debate: Buyback versus efficiency as water governance solutions
    12 Review, key messages and course summary
    All three lecturers would be involved in the course delivery through both intensive lecture sessions and assistance during seminar discussions, group work, judging the debate etc. However, the specific lecture topic load would be split as follows:
    • First Session: Assoc. Prof Sarah Wheeler (topics 1-4)
    • Second Session: Dr Alec Zuo (topics 5-8)
    • Third Session: Dr Adam Loch (topics 9-12)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Task Group/Individual Session Deadline Weighting Learning Outcome
    Seminar attendance and Participation Individual NA 10% 1-6
    In-class activities Individual Sessions 3, 6, and 9 30% 1,4,5,6
    Water Game Group Session 11 20% 4-6
    Short-answer essays (3 of 6 choices) Individual Session 13 40% 1-6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail

    There will be four (4) assessment requirements in the course, as follows:

    Attendance and participation in seminars (10%):
    Students must attend 10 of the 12 seminars and actively participate in discussion. They should be familiar with the materials, and show that they have read the assigned minimum reading for each seminar session such that they can ask informed questions and contribute in an informed way. This is key assessment of flipped learning outcomes from the course; that is, we will use this to gauge the students’ development of course knowledge, critical thinking and application of knowledge to issues. Early discussion will be guided by the lecturers, but this development will be reinforced by the case-study assessments.

    In-class activities (30%):
    Students will be provided with a set of media articles at the start of the course (three each week, totalling nine over the three in-class sessions). These will be short readings with dense information that will then lead to a series of questions that students will be required to answer in the relevant class session (Sessions 3, 6 and 9). In preparation for answering these questions students will be required to prepare a set of notes (e.g. expanded dot points) to help them structure their responses to the class. All students will be required to read all three of the media articles each week to prepare for the assessment, and a set of students (i.e. number of students divided by three sessions) will be randomly selected each week to deliver their responses to the questions. Assessment will be done at the time of responses by the lecturer, and recorded using the rubric. The critical understanding, reflection on the issues and content, and answers to the set questions – as well as any interaction among the class – will provide the assessment basis. NB: although random, all students will eventually get selected so that their assessment can be completed). Students will also be given an opportunity (once only) after they have been previously assessed to ‘volunteer’ to present. This is offered as an option to address any nerves or other impacts that they think may have affected their assessment the first time around. The assessment from ‘volunteers’ will be final.

    The Great Water Debate (20%):
    Students will be allowed to self-select (first in best dressed) into one of seven Basin management roles (by Session 4 at the latest). Once all students have selected a role, they will be provided with a detailed set of instructions and objectives that they must read ahead of the game. A key objective for all teams is negotiated consensus—otherwise the Ministerial Council will impose heavy financial penalties and regulations across all stakeholders. The idea of the Game is to mimic real-world negotiations with respect to scarce resources, where the competition and stakes are high. Each group will be expected to elect main speakers for their arguments, but all students will contribute individually to the research role that provides the basis for their arguments. The lecturers will be an initial point of discussion (if necessary to prompt the debate), will record the group’s negotiation outcomes, and will provide the final feedback and dissection of Game results.

    Short-answer essay responses (40%):
    As a final exam assessment, students will be provided with eight questions to which they will be required to submit four short-answer essay responses. For example, students may be asked to list the critical requirements for effective water governance and site an example where they are used in the world context. They may then be required to also critically appraise reasons as to why the system in question succeeded/failed over time.
    Submission
    Assignments must be submitted in Softcopy through Turnitin on MyUni

    All assignments must be presented professionally with clear headings, appropriate referencing and using one and a half spacing.

    Extensions will only be granted if requests are received in writing to the course coordinator at least 24 hours before the final due date unless they are requested on medical or compassionate grounds and are supported by appropriate documents.

    Please contact the course coordinator, preferably by email, at any time to make an appointment for assistance or guidance in relation to course work, assignments or any concerns that may arise. Assignments will normally be returned two weeks after they have been submitted
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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