Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security – a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security – a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Enhancing water security between nations has become an imperative with water use in river basins surpassing sustainable limits and roughly 60% of the world’s freshwater resources crossing national borders. As a response, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aims to deliver the skills and knowledge for water cooperation. GEF IW:LEARN has been driving the development of the MOOC, coordinated and produced by Global Water Partnership (GWP), and with contributions from leading organisations.

About this course

Freshwater scarcity, stress, and water crises are increasing worldwide. More than a billion people live in water-scarce regions, and 3.5 billion people could experience water scarcity by 2025. These pressures disproportionally affect vulnerable and marginalised people, including those living in poverty. Rising pollution levels accelerate the crisis by reducing water availability for human use and impacting aquatic life in rivers, lakes, aquifers, and oceans.

Transboundary basins account for roughly 60% of freshwater resources, serving 2.8 billion people, or 42% of the world’s population. Complex shared transboundary freshwater and ecosystems cut across a myriad of sectoral needs, themes, and political boundaries. Setting effective policy goals, coupled with investments, means working at multiple scales with a range of public and private stakeholders throughout the watershed, from source to sea and beyond.


This MOOC presents multiple facets of governance for transboundary freshwater security – from financing mechanisms to negotiation skills – while emphasizing the urgency of sustainable development and cooperation at many levels.

It extends from basic building blocks and concepts to advanced thinking about transboundary governance, and it applies theory to practice through examples and case studies. The topics of the MOOC are covered in six modules, ranging from the fundamentals of transboundary water security to international water law, water diplomacy, negotiations, institutions, management tools, and sustainable finance.

Sign up for the course on the SDG Academy platform.