International Course On River Basin Management: 2015 Course

The International Course on River Basin Management (subject ENEN90037) is an elective postgraduate subject organized jointly between the University of Melbourne and Tsinghua University in China, and is worth 12.5 points.

The objective of joint organisation is to foster mutually beneficial interaction between staff and students at Melbourne and Tsinghua Universities. Review of case studies of river basin management drawn from Australian and, Chinese experience are an important component of the Subject.

This subject aims to equip students coming from a wide range of disciplines including environmental science, social science, natural resource management, economics, law, water management and engineering with a whole-of-system approach to managing the complex, co-evolved social-ecological systems encompassed in a river basin.

The subject involved 2 weeks of intensive activities from 13 to 24 July 2015.

View photo gallery of 2015 course

Week 1

Simultaneous delivery of lectures to students located in both Melbourne and Beijing (Tsinghua) using electronic facilities. The lectures were delivered from either Melbourne or Tsinghua Universities: The lectures were delivered by a range of academic disciplinary specialists supported by experienced practioners with a depth of knowledge of the water management issues.

Download 2015 Course Program 310kb pdf

Week 2

Week 2 involves a field trip at the Southern Murray Darling Basin.

Download 2015 Field Trip Program 118kb pdf

Understanding China, the world’s second largest economy and likely the world’s largest before 2030 is important to the futures of both our countries. Environmental challenges continue to constrain economic growth and cause public health issues. Many of the environmental problems in China are of global significance and require solutions beyond its borders. Political and cultural differences between China and other countries pose new challenges and opportunities for reform of river basin management to achieve more sustainable futures.


Assignment 1: Oral group presentation

Assignment 2: 1500 words essay

Assignment 3: 6000 words essay group assignment


The University of Melbourne

Prof John Langford, The University of Melbourne

Dr Yongping Wei, The University of Melbourne

Prof Peter Scales, The University of Melbourne

Prof Sandford, Clark, The University of Melbourne

Honourable John Brumby, Vice Chancellor’s Professional Fellow and Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne. Former Premier of Victoria (2007–2010)

Prof Rob Skinner, Professorial Fellow and Director of Monash University’s Water for Liveability Centre

Mr Rob Rendell, Principal, RMCG

Prof Snow Barlow, Agriculture and Food Systems, The University of Melbourne

Dr Denis Flett, Chairperson, Victorian Environmental Water Holder, North East Water

Dr Sara Long, Research Fellow, Biomarker Program, CAPIM

Assoc Prof Andew Love, Flinders University

Prof Jane Doolan, Chair of the MDFRC Governing Board. Professorial Fellow in Natural Resources Governance, University of Canberra. Commissioner of the Natural Water Commission

Mr Davis Lewis, Australia China Joint Research Centre on River Basin Management (Former Director Retail Water Entitlements & Markets Water Group, Department of Environment & Primary Industry)

Mr Ryan Gormly, Aither

Dr David Jones, The University of Melbourne

Assoc Prof Erik Weyer, The University of Melbourne

Prof Andrew Western, The University of Melbourne

Tsinghua University

Prof Zhongjing Wang, Tsinghua University

Prof Chunpiao Zhen, Peking University

Dr Liu Bin, Department of Water Resources Affair, Ministry of Water Resources China

Prof Jinsheng Jia, Chairman of International Commission of International Commission on Large Dams

Prof Guangheng Ni, Tsinghua Univesity

Dr Li, Orientscape Lp, China

Prof Zhoayin Wang, Tsinghua University

Prof Dajun Shen, Renmin University of China

Prof Dajun Shen, Renmin University, RMU, China

Dr Jianping Wang, Developing Research Centre, MWR, China

Prof Dawen Yang, Tsinghua University

Prof Jianshi Zhao, Tsinghua University

Dr Di Long, Tsinghua University


The subject “International River Basin Management” is supported by Tsinghua University, and the Australia China Joint Research Centre on River Basin Management at the University of Melbourne. Goulburn Murray Water,  La Trobe University, Monash University, CAPIM, RMCG, North East Water, Flinders University, National Water Commission, Aither, MWR China, Renmin University of China, Orientscape Ltd China, International Commission on Large Dams China, Department of Water Resources Affair, Ministry of Water Resources, China, Peking University, Renmin University, RMU China contributed to the course by providing lectures and field visits.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority and Goulburn Murray Water hosted the field visits.


Students described the course as a highly valued experience.