WSI 230 - Water Policy & Sustainability

Course Description

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of water law and policy and human relationships, use, threats, and conflicts over water and aquatic resources. The course emphasizes a new integrative approach to water issues based on the nexus of the water commons to health, food, quality of life, energy, climate change, ecosystem, and economy. Group 2 course.

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Required Prerequisites

ENG 111 and MTH 23 or higher, both may be taken concurrently

Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

PLS 101, WSI 105

General Education Outcomes supported by this course

Communications - Direct, Critical Thinking - Direct

Other college designations supported by this course

Degree Req:Cultural Persp/Div, Infused: Writing Intensive

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Summarize the history of human civilization relating to water.
  • Use legal research tools for water law and policy.
  • Describe court decisions and federal, state, and international laws related to use and protection of water.
  • Explain the new framework for water as a commons and public trust.
  • Explain the nature and extent of rights of the private use of water.
  • Describe the effects of competing natural and human uses of water; such as agriculture, energy, and drinking water on the hydrologic cycle.
  • Describe rulings or policy responses to water disputes based on their research.
  • Apply water and public trust law principles to historical applications.
  • Apply water and public trust principles to 21st Century scenarios.
  • Synthesize research to form positions on water law and policy.
  • Present a water problem, applicable principles and a recommended solution/s in a report and presentation to an audience.
Human Dimension:
  • Describe the relationship between individuals, their community, states, and countries, over the use water.
  • Describe the holistic or integrative relationship between water, food, energy, climate change, and human and natural adaptation and resilience.
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Explain their personal responsibility for stewardship of water.
  • Respect the intrinsic value of water relating to the diversity of the needs of other people and cultures.
  • Describe the relationship of water resources to international security.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Utilize research skills to find information on law and policy disputes, problems, threats, and solutions.
  • Evaluate policy disputes to identify problems and find solutions.
  • Utilize writing skills to take a position on a public policy problem.
  • Utilize communication, speaking, and media skills to solve public policy problems.
  • Develop a water law and sustainability resource notebook.