Courses » Water Economics And Governance

Water Economics And Governance

Freshwater is fundamental to life, livelihood, and sustainable development. The issues related to the management of freshwater, are highly sensitive due to conflicts between financial, environmental, social and political viewpoints, and often needs multi-level governance involving various stakeholders.

This course aims to discuss the integrities of economics principles and governance for sustainable water management. The course will largely cover topics including the basics concept of sustainable water uses, water rights, valuing and pricing water with various pricing models, methods of economic evaluation of water projects, water governance in India including water policies and water acts, water disputes management, and global water diplomacy. The purpose of this course is to instil in students the comprehensive knowledge and understanding on the governance of water in India and economics involved in water management.

  • UG students of Civil Engineering / Environmental Engineering (Elective)
  • PG students doing specializations in Environmental Engineering / Water Engineering / Agricultural Engineering (Core/Elective)

CORE/ELECTIVE: Core / Elective for PG; Elective for UG

UG/PG : UG (Elective) & PG (Core/Elective)

Jal Boards of various cities Companies working in water management sector, such as JUSCO, CH2MHill, Veolia Water, Phonix, WABAG etc

1007 students have enrolled already!!


Manaj Kumar Tiwari [Ph.D. (IIT Kanpur)] is a civil engg. graduate with specialization in environmental engg. and holds expertise in water and wastewater treatment, water distribution systems, water pricing, and contaminant fate and transport. He is a recipient of prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. Dr. Tiwari has coauthored several papers in apex international journals, and has presented his research in various top ranked conferences across the globe. Dr. Tiwari has over 7 years of teaching experience with both UG as well as PG level course. He has designed several new courses at IIT Kharagpur for Master’s programme in Water Engineering and Management. He has delivered several invited lectures at various organizations, and has also conducted shortterm course under Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) with participants ranging from Faculties and Ph.D. students from NITs to field professionals working in government organizations as well as private companies.

Week 1: Introduction: General outline; Water availability and uses: national and international scenario; Challenges in water management. 

Week 2: Water Rights: Need of water rights; Water and sanitation in international law; Right to Water; Entitlements and criteria. 

Week 3: Water Sustainability: Concept of sustainable water uses; The Dublin statement; Sustainable water management with economical, engineering, ecological and social viewpoints; Stakeholders’ participation. 

Week 4: Valuing Water: The use and non-use values of water; Valuation methods; Non-revenue waters (NRW) and unaccounted for water (UFW); Metering water uses; Water management through economic instruments. 

Week 5: Water Pricing - Approach and Models: Significance of water pricing; Average and marginal cost pricing; Shortrun marginal cost pricing; Water pricing models - flat rate, uniform rate, increasing block tariff and seasonal rate models. 

Week 6: Conflicts in Water Pricing: Conflicts on subsidy verses sustainability, efficiency verses fairness in supply, development decisions verses capacity restrictions; Water pricing practices in India and abroad; relevant case studies. 

Week 7: Economics of Water Projects: Economics of sectoral water allocation; Capital budgeting in water projects; Costs concepts of capital budgeting; Financial evaluation of water projects. 

Week 8: Economic Evaluation Methods: Methods of project evaluation; Payback Period; Discounted Payback Period; Net Present Value; Internal Rate of Return; Average Rate of Return; Benefit-Cost Ratio. 

Week 9: Water Governance: Elements and dimensions of water governance; Building blocks; Effective water governance schemes; Benchmarking water governance; Indicators of good governance. 

Week 10: Water Governance in India: National water policies and water acts; Water regulatory authorities; Power and roles of central and state regulatory authorities; Legal and regulatory framework for hydro projects; Institutional arrangement and administrative controls of water service; Interstate water management initiatives; Stakeholders’ participation; NGOs and social movements 

Week 11: Water Disputes Management: Interstate and intrastate water disputes resolutions practices; Judiciary involvements; Tribunals for water disputes resolutions; Treaties and bilateral agreements; Environmental issues and disputes related to water resources projects; relevant case studies. 

Week 12: Global Water Diplomacy: International freshwater agreements; Global water treaties and transboundary water  agreements between the countries on international water resources; Multi-national water disputes and their resolution  mechanisms; relevant case studies. 


1. Handbook of Water Economics : Principles and Practice (2003) by Colin H. Green; Publisher - Willy
2. Handbook of Water Economics (2015)by Ariel Dinar and Kurt Schwabe (editors); Publisher - Edward Elgar
3. Water and the Laws in India (2009) by Ramaswamy R. Iyer; Publisher - SAGE Publications
4. Water Law Poverty and Development, Water Sector Reforms in India by Philippe Cullet; Publisher - Oxford (2009)
5. Water Resource Economics: Towards a Sustainable Use of Water for Irrigation in India (2015) by M.G. Chandrakanth; Publisher - Springer
6. Water Governance: An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures (2013), by A. Gunawansa and L. Bhullar (editors) Publisher - Edward Elgar (2013)   
7. Water Resources and Economics: A journal from Elsevier

  • The exam is optional for a fee. · 
  • Date and Time of Exams: April 28 (Saturday) and April 29 (Sunday) :
    Morning session 9am to 12noon. 
  • Exam for this course will be available in one session on both 28 and 29 April. 
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.  
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. 

  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score  
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 12 weeks course: Best 8 out of 12 assignments  
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score.
    Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.