This course will explore important concepts and strategies for successful participatory water conservation strategies to ensure long-term, sustainable solutions to managing water resources effectively in developing and transitional countries. A community-based and participatory approach involving and empowering users and managers of local communities is necessary to balance out the different water needs and demands of available resources.
There are many threats that are contributing to decreased access to water resources worldwide. Overpopulation, falling groundwater tables, the mismanagement of water sources, surface and ground-water pollution, over-extraction, decentralized governments, and the varied interests of various multistakeholders are all challenges resulting in a severe decline in available water resources. Millions in both urban and rural communities worldwide are becoming vulnerable to water scarcity, social exclusion from access to water, polluted water sources and water-borne diseases.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Gain insight on local and global perceptions and approaches to participatory water resource management and apply this directly to their institutions
- Work with communities using tools such as social asset mapping to identify value-based water and sanitation priorities and implement these into their community development plans
- Deliver training and develop capacity of local communities
- Understand how to integrate users and managers of local communities, government bodies, and various stakeholders into all components of effective water management plans
- Learn from successes and failures in the context of both rural and urban communities worldwide
- Utilize peer to peer exchanges of problems and solutions will enhance knowledge and enhance skills
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.
Vanitha’s background includes over 10 years of conservation and water resource management with local communities, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and the private sector. She has worked both domestically and internationally with a focus on Latin America, India, and the U.S. Vanitha’s areas of programmatic knowledge and expertise include climate change adaptation, participatory water resource management, community-based conservation, and international development. Vanitha holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University, where she specialized in water science, policy and management. She was also a William J. Clinton Fellow and holds an undergraduate degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Microbiology and Anthropology.
Currently Vanitha is a Development and Outreach Consultant for Model Forest Policy Program and Wildlands Network. She is also the Sustainability Director for World Water Relief, working to ensure the long-term success of water and sanitation projects in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Luminita Cuna has a Master of Science in Sustainable Development with focus on Environmental Management from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies. Her Master's thesis researched the impact of conservation policies on protected areas in the Amazon and their effects on the indigenous people that live in these areas. Luminita worked for 10 years in Information Technology, including at the United Nations. She studied International Economics and French at Mount Holyoke College, where she earned her BA. Luminita holds a Graduate Certificate in Management of Information Systems and a Professional Certificate in Journalism, both from New York University and a Sustainable Community Development Certificate from Colorado State University. Luminita is the founder and director of Maloca (a Village Earth affiliate), a grassroots support organization that works with indigenous communities living in the Amazon basin. Luminita has been working with indigenous communities in the Amazon since 2006.