Academic Programs

Water Sustainability Concentration

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  Concentration Description:

The Water Sustainability Concentration prepares students to find solutions to one of the greatest challenges on the planet. It educates them to understand the complex local, regional and global water-related sustainability challenges and to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. Students will develop skills necessary for planning sustainable water resources and green infrastructure systems. The program prepares students for careers in the public and private sectors in national and international organizations.

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Concentration Director:

Dr. Kebreab Ghebremichael

Director of Water Sustainability Concentration
Associate Professor

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Dr. Ghebremichael


  • IDS 6245 - Sustainable Water Resource Management: Doing More with Less (3)

This course provides an overview of the challenges and strategies for sustainable water resource management for coordinated planning, development, and management of water resources. It will discuss technical, economic, legal and institutional frameworks. 

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • IDS 6246 - Water Sensitive Urban Design (3)

Cities around the world are facing the challenges of addressing water scarcity, flooding, and waterway health vulnerabilities. It is now well accepted that these issues cannot be adequately addressed by the traditional urban water development approach. In response, new thinking of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and Green Infrastructure Planning has become prominent. This course provides methodologies to bring natural processes into the built environment, and to enable the adoption of water sensitive planning and design principles in support of cities making the transition towards livable, sustainable, and resilient water futures. It will focus on green infrastructure systems to provide stormwater management and flood protection; maintain healthy waters; provide multiple environmental benefits; and support sustainable communities.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

Concentration Courses (3 credit hours)
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  • IDS 6938 - Navigating The Sustainable Food Energy Water Nexus (3)

The Food Energy Water (FEW) nexus helps students navigate the complexities of sustainability, using systems thinking and case studies in food, energy, and water to create industrial ecology systems, closing the loop from the solar energy that sustains food production through food waste to new food.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • IDS 6247 - Water Resources Planning (3)

This course provides an overview of water resources planning and introduces students to some of the tools used in water resources planning and management. It will also discuss water quality issues as well as water and wastewater treatment technologies that are important to improve water quality in closing the water cycle loop. Students will use water resources planning tools to develop cost-effective plans based on individual and group project works.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • EVR 6216  Water Quality Policy and Management (3)

The course covers the conceptual structure and practical implementation of U.S. watershed-based water quality regulations and policies. Practical application of scientific information and quantitative methods in management/policy decisions for water quality protection.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • IDS 6938 – Policy for Sustainability (3) - Pending Approval


    This course explores the definition of sustainability policy, how policy can be implemented at all levels of  government, the myriad actors involved in policy formation and implementation, metrics used to measure policy robustness, and the politics of sustainability. Policies and case studies pertaining to other Patel College of Global Sustainability concentrations will be presented and discussed.  A class debate and policy-position paper will challenge critical thinking skills. 

  *This course is available on-campus and online.


  • IDS 6208 - Renewable Power Portfolio (3)

The course analyzes the market status and growth potential of the portfolio of renewable power sources (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, biogas), production technologies, economics and financing, infrastructure integration and smart grid issues, and regulatory and environmental aspects.

*This course is available on-campus and online
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NOTE: Please be advised that your degree requirements may be different than the requirements mentioned above if you were admitted to our degree program prior to Fall 2018. Please refer to our previous catalog to understand your respective degree requirements.


On successful completion of this program, participants should be able to: 

  • Discuss the basic concepts of managing the dynamics of the urban water cycle and how they impact sustainability.
  • Apply appropriate environmental models to analyze problems that relate to the management and exploitation of environmental systems.
  • Explain the problems related to sustainability and its interdisciplinary nature of the problem related to urban water and green infrastructure.
  • Discuss the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability and develop an integrated approach to the application of novel methodologies in the sustainable solution.
  • Relate the knowledge to integrate various disciplines such as natural and social sciences, engineering, health, economics, governance and policy in creating a livable city and healthy community.

For more information about this concentration, please contact the PCGS Academic Program Director,

Randall Pape