Bergen Summer Research School
Course | BSRS 2019

Water management and sustainable development

This course addresses one of the major global challenges in a world of climate change—the widening gap between demand and supply of safe water. SGD 6 gives clear goals for the world society.

Main content

Course leader
Tore Sætersdal, Deputy Director, Global Challenges, University of Bergen.

Course lecturers
Yacob Arsano, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Terje Tvedt, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Bergen.
Terje Oestigaard, Researcher and Docent, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden.

How are societies affected by changing water cycles and by efforts at controlling and modifying the waterscape? And how have they been affected in the past by managing these differences in water-society relationships?

The main aims of this course are twofold: To offer a truly multidisciplinary approach to understanding water-society relations. And to provide reflections on the need for a long term historical perspective on changes and differences in conditions and possibilities for different types of water management.

The course lecturers, aim to offer an original and refreshing perspective on water-society relations. Everybody is talking about the need for multidisciplinarity in the study of water. This course addresses this task.

The course will also organize an excursion into the waterscape of Bergen and its surroundings to show how people on the Scandinavian rain coast manage their waters

The course will give PhD candidates insight into and knowledge of relevant theoretical and historical literature on water management and water control. The course will address the SDG's and issues like water and River Basin management, water and urban growth and water and society.

Dr Tore Sætersdal is Deputy Director of the thematic focus area of Global Challenges at the University of Bergen. He is an archaeologists who has worked since 1993 in Africa, mainly Eastern and Southern Africa. He has worked for long periods in Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as Uganda.

In 2006, he was appointed Director of the Basin Research programme involving close collaboration with universities in all the Nile Basin countries. He is now the project PI of two large Norwegian funded projects on Water management and Climate Change involving eleven universities from Asia, Africa and Norway.

Dr Terje Tvedt is professor, filmmaker, author an a true water-man. He has published extensively on the history of water-society relations in a global historical perspective, written, presented and directed three award-winning documentaries on global water issues, and lectured in almost 30 countries globally. His water documentaries are available on Netflix and Amazon. Tvedt is a professor of history, geography, political science and development studies, and works at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Dr Terje Oestigaard is an archaeologist, researcher and Docent at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden. Since 2006, he has worked particularly with the Nile basin countries and conducted fieldworks in Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. He has conducted contemporary and archaeological fieldworks in Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, India, Nepal, Palestine as well as in Scandinavia.

His general research approach has been interdisciplinary and comparative, in collaboration with other researchers and programmes with the aim of understanding the role of water in history, society and civilization, with a particular emphasis on comparative religion in changing environments.

Course literature
Tvedt, T. (2016) Water and Society: Changing Perceptions of Societal and Historical Development. I.B. Tauris, London/New York.

Fischhendler, I. (2015) The securitization of water discourse: theoretical foundations, research gaps and objectives of the special issue. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics; Vol. 15: 245-255. New York, Springer 10 pp

Oestigaard, T. (2011) "Water". In Insoll, T. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion: 38-50. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 12 pp

Strand, Veronica, (2004) The Meaning of Water, Berg, Oxford.

David E. Newton (2016) The Global Water Crisis: A Reference Handbook: A Reference Handbook.

BSRS courses 2019