Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSouth Africa School of Social Sciences
OfferedSouth Africa Term 3 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Bimo Nkhata (South Africa); Ms Linda Downsborough


This unit examines the elements and background to the so-called world water crisis and analyses current international development thinking about sustainable development and its application to water and water resources. It explores dimensions such as livelihoods and poverty, water supply and sanitation in cities, gender, community participation and water as a human right. This will be done in context of organisations such as Catchment Management Agencies and relevant Provincial Departments who face challenges with water sustainability and development. Students will be able to work directly with key individuals in these organisations and get a firsthand experience of some of the issues and challenges they face. Topics covered by the unit include;

  • Water and Sustainable Development: theory and principles
  • Water, Development, Poverty and Livelihoods
  • Water and Community Participation
  • Water supply, sanitation and health
  • Dams and irrigation
  • Water and Gender


Specific objectives for this unit include:

  1. Critically examine the theoretical underpinnings and key principles of sustainable development and explain its application to water resources
  2. Identify the key aspects and causes of the 'global water crisis', and its implications for development
  3. Employ a range of analytical frameworks for understanding the links between water, livelihoods, poverty, and gender
  4. Explain the theoretical and practical justifications for community participation in water resources development, using examples and case studies
  5. Explain and have a critical appreciation of the implications of a human rights approach to water resources development.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)