Online Course on Water Woes- Reality of Urban Water Management


Commitment: 6 hours a week

Application form for registration 

( Below form is only open for nominated officials by training departments of Govt of India and African candidates)  
Application form only for nominated officials 

Cities in India and South Asia are spiralling. Our climate is changing, making cities more prone to extreme rain events and floods while water scarcity and pollution continue to grow. Water problems jeopardise the survival of millions of people globally. Recent water crises in states of India - Chennai, Bihar and Assam over last summer have been devastating. Ground water, lakes and rivers in India are exhaustively overdrawn (a CSE study showing ground water sources 48% of urban water supply in India), yet no city in the country has adequate water supply. Fresh water sources are reducing due to rapid urban expansion. Cities encroach and pollute them as wastewater is disposed into water bodies untreated. Central Pollution Control Board indicates that 43,117 MLD(million litres per day) of untreated sewage flows into rivers across India (CPCB, 2015).Additionally, 351 river stretches across the country are polluted due to discharge of both municipal and industrial waste water over the years (CPCB, 2018).

Presently, as we confront the new global enemy novel ‘coronavirus disease’ (COVID-19), the availability of water will be a crucial determinant for a successful outcome in this war (S. Narain, DTE, CSE). It is estimated that family of five would need around 100 to 200 litres of water per day only to wash hands. (S. Rohilla, DTE, CSE). The current urban water management paradigm has its difficulties – it is energy and capital intensive, has legal and institutional gaps, creates and maintains wealth inequality and disregards our natural environment. It prioritises access for a select population and excludes the remaining. Research indicates that the urban poor around the world pay up to 50 times more for one litre of water than their better off neighbours, as they buy their water from private sellers (UN Water). Yet, our problems and solutions both usually involve big, technological fixes with little consideration of increasing vulnerability of the urban poor and national ecosystems.

Realizing the current water scenario and demand for this knowledge, the School of Water and Waste, AAETI, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is organizing this online course on “Water Woes: Understanding Urban Water Management” for the 4th time as part of a series of successful online programs that CSE has conducted since 2016. The course will provide a holistic perspective on today’s water scenario and emphasize the need to move towards a water secure future. It will help practitioners and decision makers with various other commitments to improve their subject-knowledge online in their own time, using a highly supportive and interactive learning platform. 


To help students, working professionals and environmental enthusiasts learn state-of-art concepts and principles of improved urban water management at their own comfort and pace. 


  1. Identify gaps in the legal aspects of water provision access and governance.
  2. Recognize the various external and internal stresses and shocks to water bodies in a city
  3. Indicate the current problems with physical water infrastructure
  4. Illustrate the increasing scope of a decentralised approach to wastewater management
  5. Demonstrate inequity in access and pricing of water in a city and associated ripple effects among the urban poor
  6. Suggest scope for interventions based on different problem scenarios and contexts.
  7. Identify tools and approaches for urban water management 

Theme 1: Water and Development – What works and what doesn’t

Theme 2: Making water everybody’s Business

Theme 3: Learning from nature – The Dying Wisdom

Theme 4: Tools and Approaches to operationalize interventions 

Course Work

The course comprises of self-study, technological learning tools such as presentations, videos featuring case studies from various countries, interviews with experts, inspirational talks, and other audio material. It will facilitate interaction amongst participants through online forums and discussions. Also, it will be interactive with several interesting assessment exercises and quizzes. Participants will also get a chance to interact and learn from experts at CSE through online interactions and a webinar. The webinars are mandatory to attend for all the participants and will add up to 5 marks to the overall final scores of the course. 

Target Audience:

  • Working professionals and decision makers from government and non-government institutions
  • Accredited EIA consultants
  • PMU assisting Govt. in mainstreaming water and sanitation measures
  • Recent graduates and environment enthusiasts
  • Researchers and academics interested in curriculum development
  • Other sector professionals with a desire to update their knowledge on the water scenarios

This course may be used in satisfaction of continuing professional development (CPD) requirements – please check with your local organisation for specific rules and regulations. 

Course Coordinator

Shivali Jainer
Programme Manager
Water Programme



Course Director
Download flyer
Course Director
Suresh Rohilla
Senior Director, CSE
Academic Director, School of Water & Waste, AAETI
Benefits upon completion
This course is part of School of Water and Waste’s objective to create ‘Urban Water Leaders’. Top 5 participants who perform well on the course will be invited to AAETI, Nimli with a fully funded fellowship for one of our upcoming training programs.

Additional benefits include:
  • Course participation/completion certificate
  • Top 5 scorers will get a 50% refund of their course fee
  • One-year free subscription to Down To Earth magazine after course completion
  • Join a global network of practitioners of the School of Water and Waste.
Course fees
Indian participants: INR 3500/-
Overseas participants: USD 100
Alumni Feedback
I am happy to leave feedback on the course. I had a very good experience, the teaching material was extremely interesting and I also enjoyed exchanging views with other course students in the discussion forum. Thanks for uploading new interesting articles and documentaries

By: Ester Vespasiani
Analyst, Economic Consulting Associates
London, UK
The information and reading materials are eye-openers. Water is not free and there are many aspects to which our efforts have to contribute to conserving the supply and mitigating the crisis from evergrowing demand for clean water.

By: Vikash K Agarwal
Consultant Ram Swarup Traders Pvt. Ltd., Assam
This Online Course had some great insights and some very applicable techniques. Do wish more of such techniques are incorporated across the world.

By: Apoorva Shrivastava
Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young, Gurgaon
Thank you so much, Dr Rohilla and team! I greatly enjoyed the course, and hope to stay in touch with you and the wider community on all things water (and waste).

By: Lav Kanoi
Doctoral Student, Yale University, New Haven, USA
Great experience, course was well designed all most all areas of urban water issues covered. Technological interventions like desalination and other topics also use full in this course. As a journalist I can use this material in my line of work. Really am very happy with this course and eagerly waiting for other courses, workshops and seminars. Thank you to CSE team

By: B.N. Jyothiprasad
Management Trainee Principal Correspondent, Eenadu
The reading provided were gem! It has created a good amount of doc for reference in future too. I would like to thanks the team for provided these to us as

By: Vidur Shresth
Project Co-ordinator, Ratnashilp
The study material, the video lectures and the live case studies are the stuff I liked most about the course. The best experiences were the online Quizzes - MCQs, I enjoyed a lot attempting them

By: Ritu Agrawal
Assistant Professor,
Birla Institute of Technology
The best thing was the way this course was structured. First of all the present problem and various aspects where we are lagging or going wrong, then the steps to be taken both policy wise...

By: Vaibhav Sharma,
PEC University of Technology