Water is one of the most important substances on Earth. It is essential to many of the things we need and enjoy in life: food, transport, and recreation, but managing it can also pose some serious challenges. Around the world, water managers contend with droughts, floods, sea-level rise, overfishing, pollution, plastic soup, and many other risks to both our natural environment and our society. We need water managers to safeguard our future!
During the water management program, you will develop in your own field of expertise as you focus on the major water-related issues facing us today and towards solutions for UN Sustainable Development Goals like freshwater availability, clean seas, food production, healthy ecosystems, biodiversity, and coastal safety.
The HZ enjoys intensive working relationships with professionals in the water sector. You will be working on practical assignments provided by companies or research institutes from the very first day of your study. This is incredibly important, as this will thoroughly prepare you for your career. You will be educated with the latest knowledge from the field and you learn how to effectively combine theory and practice.
Right from the start, you will work on real-life cases discovering your interest and talents. After the first semester, you can opt for one of these three study tracks: Aquatic Ecotechnology, Delta Management, and Spatial Planning & Design.
As a Delta Manager, you integrate multiple disciplines to develop a vision on climate challenges in an area. You develop strategies by taking into account economic, ecological, spatial, and social aspects of a river delta area. Together with stakeholders, you develop effective measures to deal with climate change. You will learn project- and process management and cross-cultural communication skills to manage complex water- and climate change-related projects worldwide.
The first semester you have courses with all Water management students on generic topics as water challenges related to Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Furthermore, you will get introduced to track-specific courses to prepare you on choosing a track after the first semester. You will work on professional development, your Dutch/English skills, and research. In the second semester, you will start to develop your vision making skills and project management skills. You will learn about water safety and how to involve stakeholders.
You get to work on a design for a European area which is prone to flooding. You will be commissioned by a European municipality to prepare a vision for their area, in order to make it more resistant to the effects of climate change. You thereby look at the social, economic, political, legal, and cultural aspects. You learn how to digitally map out an area and how to graphically design your project.
America is the central focus point during the second half of the year, especially the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana. This delta area is one of America’s biggest nature areas and is under threat by natural disasters such as hurricanes. Climate change has resulted in a rise in the river water, which inevitably means more and more parts of the area are disappearing into the river. You draft a strategic plan for part of this area, where you opt for either a town or a nature area. Your design serves to improve the safety of the area, whilst keeping a firm focus on nature. You take the local and national political, cultural and social situation into account.
You follow a six month minor during the third year. A minor will deepen or broaden your knowledge and skills. You can complete the minor with the research groups from watercourses at the HZ, at another HZ course or you can opt for another university either in the Netherlands or abroad. You do a work experience placement either at home or abroad during the second half of the year at an organization in your specific field. You can choose where you want to do this work experience. You could, for example, opt for a work experience placement in Vietnam, where you could look at how different districts within a large town could deal with climate changes, for example, the removal of water after heavy rainfall. Or you could decide to work for a harbor company, in order to work on making the harbor area future resistant.
Asia is central during your final year: Vietnam and the Mekong Delta. Climate change has resulted in the Mekong Delta now being one of the most threatened delta areas in the world. If the sea level rises by 1 meter, 38% of this area will be underwater. This has consequences for food production. You and your project team will be working on spatial design for part of this delta. The design contributes to ensuring there is sufficient fresh water, food, coastal protection, and sufficient space for tourism and recreation. This allows you to give the local economy an effective boost.
As a manager of a Belgian coastal area, you also start tackling the prevention of flooding in year 4, using natural solutions like green dikes, flood-resistant constructions, and generating energy from water. You do this together with students from other water specializations. And finally, you conclude your studies in this academic year with a research project. You could, for example, look at how large European harbors can respond to the consequences of climate change, or you could issue advice regarding the way in which an executor can prevent the formation of blue-green algae.
Spatial Planning & Design
You focus on adaptive planning and the design of economically and socially dynamic areas under the pressure of climate change. You monitor the effects of climate change and design spatial solutions on how cities and rural areas can deal with water challenges. You have to be creative in plan and design for improving the local context. You will learn how to 2D and 3D visualize and communicate your strategies.
The first semester you have courses with all Water management students on generic topics as water challenges related to Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Furthermore, you will get introduced to track-specific courses to prepare you on choosing a track after the first semester. You will work on professional development, your Dutch/English skills, and research. In the second semester, you will start to develop your drawing and designing skills. You will learn about planning policies and -regulations.
Apply your planning and design skills in international cases. You will learn about the connection between spatial planning and topics as a circular economy, sustainable tourism, mobility, and energy. Plan and design for different local contexts. There will also be a project on landscape design and rural planning. You will go on excursions and a project week abroad.
In the third year, you can go to other countries for your minor and/or internship! You can choose a minor at HZ or a minor at another university in the Netherlands or in another country. And you can do your internship in the Netherlands or in another country.
You will apply your skills and make a design for a complex project where topics as adaptation, mitigation, sustainability, climate change, infrastructure, tourism, food, energy, urbanization come together. You will also work together on a challenge with students from other study programs on a project from a real client. And you will do your graduation research. This can be done in the Netherlands or in another country.
Three-year track Water Management
With your pre-university diploma, you can qualify for the English-language three-year track of the Water Management program if you meet the admission requirements. If you opt for this track, you will be in a class with international students. Note: the three-year track is not available for Spatial Planning & Design.
During the first semester, you follow lectures together with the students who are doing the four-year program. You get to know your fellow students and the water management program, and you decide which specialization you want to follow. Subsequently, you spend two six-month periods studying the specialization of your choice. Halfway through the second year, you choose a minor, or you do an internship at home or abroad. In your final study year, you further deepen your knowledge and skills in your chosen field through projects and lectures, and you carry out graduation research in the professional field.
Have you become passionate about your study and would you like to further develop yourself in your professional field? Would a Master's program be something for you? You could choose for the 18-months Master program in River Delta Development, which is a collaboration of HZ University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, and Van Hall Larenstein. This way, you can obtain both your Bachelor's and your master’s degree in four-and-a-half years. Employers will be lining up for you upon graduation because you are both practically and analytically trained.
The three-year study program Water Management is taught in English. To be able to start in the second semester of the three-year track, you must have an average of 7.5 or higher on your grade list. If this is the case, you may decide, together with your Study Career Coach, whether the three-year track matches your wishes and requirements.
After applying for the Water Management program, you will be invited for a study choice interview. In that interview, you can indicate that you want to be considered for the three-year track.
The domain Technology, Water & Environment includes an applied research center. Research is carried out in four fields: Resilient Deltas, Building with Nature, Aquaculture, and Water Technology. Students, researchers, and lecturers work together to conduct research on these themes in cooperation with companies, governmental organizations, and other research institutes.
Applied research is closely combined with education. Our lecturers participate in research and researchers give lectures. Often the assignments you face during your classes are part of challenging projects the research groups deal with. Furthermore, you can choose to carry out your internship, minor, or graduation project with a research group.
Before you apply to the Water Management program, you have to meet a few admission requirements.
Congratulations, you're graduated! From now on you may use the title ‘Bachelor of Science’.
Did you participate in the Honors Program? You will get an extra certificate with your bachelor's degree.
As a water manager, your skills are valuable equally in the public and private sectors. You can work at all levels of the government or water authorities or Research institutes, consultancies, engineering companies, and industries.
With Aquatic Ecotechnology, you can work as a water consultant, assistant researcher, policy officer, expert, or project coordinator. If you further specialized in Water Technology, you can work as a water engineer, analyst, or wastewater treatment engineer.
With a specialization in Delta Management, you can work as an assistant researcher, consultant, assistant area manager, designer, or project coordinator.
With a specialization in Spatial Planning & Design, you can work as an assistant urban planner, a strategic advisor, and advisor spatial planning. You can work for organizations like GIZ, Unesco, government, NGO's, and consultancy firms.
With a bachelor's degree from the HZ, you can continue studying towards your Master’s degree (Msc.) at HZ by choosing for our Master's program River Delta Development. When you choose this program, you are able to get your Bachelor's and Master's degree in 5,5 years.
If you decide to continue your education abroad, you can do so immediately after graduating from the HZ. If you choose to further your studies at a research university in the Netherlands, a pre-master might be required.