Water Law & Policy

Teaching hours and credit allocation: 16 hours, 3 credits
Course assessment: exams


The course introduces to students the legal principles that control the allocation and protection of the most crucial natural resource, water, including surface and groundwater rights, management approaches. Emphasis will be given on current legal and policy debates in Europe and the USA; on the rights and obligations of water supplies, planning and regulatory agencies. The course will also focus on surface and groundwater rights, water management, environmental approaches, the difficulties and policy dilemmas involved in creating integrated water management institutions. Institutional development, norms and guiding principles, implementation strategies, and public participation mechanisms at the local, European Union level and globally will be discussed.

Learning outcomes

On completing the course, students are expected to be able to:

  • critically analyze the history of water development
  • assess the alternative means of responding to the growing worldwide demand for water
  • understand the appropriate role for the market and private companies in meeting society’s water needs
  • understand the need for protection of threatened groundwater resources
  • analyze the results of deficient management policies for the management of water resources
  • understand the insights national and transnational water management
  • critically examine the social policies that govern water management
  • analyze the most significant global instruments


  • Introduction to water law and policy
  • EU water Directive
  • Legal control of water resources
  • Water policy and Markets
  • Implications of deficiency management policies
  • Aspects of National and Transnational water management
  • The Human Right to water
  • Institutional Perspectives on water policy