The course ‘Irrigation and Water Management’ (WRM10306) is a second year course of the BIL programme that focuses on calculating irrigation needs, learning about different irrigation methods and assessing how technologies are used under different social context (socio-technical approach).
After 6 weeks of lectures, tutorials and group work in Wageningen, students are able to calculate the crop water requirements, identify the different field irrigation practices and see their advantages and disadvantages. But what happens in real life? How are the different irrigation methods used in different places around the world? Which type of farmers use which irrigation method and why? How water quality and quantity affect the crop choices as well as the irrigation method? How is history and culture relate to these crop and irrigation method choices?
BIL students that take Irrigation and Water Management course, along with the Soil Degradation and remediation course (SLM10306), spend a 2-week-period (week 7 and 8) exploring these question in Southern Europe and specifically in Portugal, France-Spain and Crete, Greece. Together with their supervisors, students meet local farmers, research institutes and water managers and research the ways that water management is performed in this different cultural and social context. Among others, students visit massive irrigation projects, post-fire areas, as well as entrepreneurs on agro-tourism.
According to students, the course is a highlight of the BIL programme. The excursions offer a first hands-on training for the students to experience a different foreign context and prepare them for their theses and internships later on their studies.