Course Syllabus for

Management for the Water Sector
Management för vattensektorn

VVR055F, 3 credits

Valid from: Spring 2018
Decided by: Cintia Bertacchi Uvo
Date of establishment: 2018-04-17

General Information

Division: Water Resources Engineering
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


After taking this advanced course, Management for the water sector, the participants will be able to understand and analyze the differences, benefits and limitations of public water service providers with different organizational structures in different countries. The participants will be able to understand and scrutinize different forms of performance measurements, among them benchmark systems for the water sector. Market mechanisms, funding and auditing of public water service providers will be described and two different examples of how a water utility is organized and developed will be reviewed. The participants will choose a relevant management topic and individually or in pair disseminate it and write a short report on how the topic should be understood and applied in a given situation.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must The examination will be an oral presentation of the chosen management theme during the study week and a short project report to be handed in not later than 5 weeks after the end of the course week.

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Course Contents

For many reasons, water is not any general commodity. One interesting aspect is that ownership of water is unclear if it exists at all. Most water service providers operate as monopolies. This leads to a prizing situation that cannot follow a market situation. Further on, most water utilities, as well as flood protection, wastewater management and other ecosystem protection service providers are public utilities. Several types of public utilities are found, with varying levels of autonomy and types of governance, even in one region. The level of autonomy affects the way in which a utility can operate. A department of a municipality is clearly politically governed, while a company wholly or majority-owned by the public sector has a less pronounced political control. 1) The theoretical background to water management schemes for a municipality 2) Critical analysis of two municipal water companies – what to do and what not to do 3) Comparison of municipal and industrial water management: similarities and differences 4) The humans are the most important resource: an analysis of staff and HR-work in a water company 5) A survey of organizational structures in Europe. Examples from the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Finland 6) What does International Water Association (IWA) say about water management – benchmarking in practice (Performance Indicators for Water Supply Services: Third Edition) 7) Lessons learnt from the European Benchmarking Co-operation (EBC) benchmarking programme for European water- & wastewater utilities ( 8) My dream utility – and how to get there 9) It´s the economy, stupid. The economy of the water sector

Course Literature

Enligt gästföreläsarnas anvisningar.
Mainly current papers from peer-review journals.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, exercises, project, self-study literature review. Course literature, digital references and programmes and apps offered by the guest lecturers and the International Water Association.

Examination Details

Examination formats: Written report, seminars given by participants. Oral presentation at a seminar and written report.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: Registerd PhD-student of a water related topic at Lund University or other Swedish Univesities.
Assumed prior knowledge: Basic knowledge in the organisation and management of water sector companies.
Selection criteria: Passed credits at a PhD-level

Further Information

Aims to offer cross-disciplinary themes on water management.

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:
Web page:

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