The Water Supply Engineering programme is jointly offered by Universidad del Valle (Univalle) and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE). The Water Supply Engineering programme is a joint double degree programme.
Starts: Annually in August
Duration: 20 months
Locations: Univalle, Cali, Colombia and UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands
Language: Subjects at Univalle are taught in Spanish; subjects at UNESCO-IHE are taught in English
Recent decades have witnessed an increasing rate of urbanization, particularly in developing regions and in countries in transition. About 80% of the world’s mega-cities can be found in these regions. During the next two decades the world’s population is expected to double. The high concentration of people in urban areas will place enormous pressure on the local environment and on available resources. It will also generate ever-higher, sometimes conflicting demands on services such as water supply and sanitation. At the same time, under decentralization policies, the responsibility for delivering such services will be increasingly delegated to lower levels of government that are often ill equipped for this challenge in terms of financial and human resources.
Water Supply Engineering is designed for engineers working in water supply companies, municipal assemblies, government ministries and consulting companies dealing with water supply. It is particularly geared to the needs of mid-career engineers dealing with the assessment of groundwater, surface water and drinking water quality; the design and operation of conventional and advanced water treatment plants, including membrane filtration systems for desalination and water re-use applications, surface water collection and storage, sludge treatment and disposal or water transport and distribution.
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree preferably in civil, sanitary, chemical, hydraulic, environmental, industrial or mechanical engineering, biological sciences or related fields are eligible to apply. In principle, candidates should have a minimum of three years of practical or research experience in sanitary and/or environmental engineering since graduation. All applications are, however, considered on their individual merits. Since instruction and examinations are given in English and Spanish, it is essential that participants have a good working knowledge of both languages. If there is any doubt about a candidate’s proficiency in English, he or she will be required to take one of the internationally recognized language tests before confirmation of admittance.
Graduates of the Water Supply Engineering programme will be well equipped to understand:
- The structure of drinking water supply systems, including water transport, treatment and distribution;
- Water quality criteria and standards, and their relation to public health, environment and urban water cycle;
- Physical, chemical and biological phenomena, and their mutual relationships, occurring within water supply systems;
- Water quality concepts and their effect on treatment process selection;
- The interaction of water quality and the materials being used;
- Hydraulic concepts and their relationship to water transport in treatment plants, pipelines and distribution networks;
- The importance and methods of operation and maintenance of water supply systems;
- Options for centralized and urban systems versus decentralized and rural systems;
- Be able to define and evaluate project alternatives on basis of chosen selection criteria;
- Water supply engineering within a watershed context.
In addition, graduates will be able to:
- Design and rehabilitate raw water abstraction, transport, treatment and distribution processes and systems;
- Use statistical and modelling tools for simulation, prediction of performance and operation of water supply system components;
- Communicate effectively in oral and written presentations to technical and non-technical audiences.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be awarded two Master degrees: one from UNESCO-IHE and one from Univalle. The degree students receive from UNESCO-IHE is the degree in Urban Water and Sanitation, with a specialization in Water Supply Engineering. Univalle will award a degree in Engineering with a specialization in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering.
Interested persons apply for admission with UNESCO-IHE. More information on the application procedure (including the necessary forms) can be found here. UNESCO-IHE will coordinate with Univalle on admissions, and selected participants will receive an admission letter from UNESCO-IHE. The UNESCO-IHE admission letter is needed to apply for an NFP scholarship, for more information on these please see this page.
UNESCO-IHE will check the application first, and inform Univalle if the applicant can be accepted. Univalle will then consider the application for admission, and if both institutions agree on admittance, UNESCO-IHE's provisional admission letter will be sent to the applicant.
If applicants do not yet possess the language requirements, they can apply for admission anyway. If they meet the other admission requirements, they will be sent a conditional admission letter, and an unconditional admission letter will be sent after receiving the required language test scores.
Further questions about the application procedure can be addressed to:
Ms. Ineke Melis
Admission and Fellowship Officer
Programme Structure and Contents
The Water Supply Engineering programme offers students the possibility to study in Cali, Colombia, and in Delft, the Netherlands, at two renowned institutes for international postgraduate education: Univalle and UNESCO-IHE.
The coursework part of the programme starts at Univalle in Cali, Colombia in August, where students follow a number of courses until the second half of December.
In early January, they move to Delft where they join students in UNESCO-IHE’s Urban Water and Sanitation programme for seven modules, the international field trip and the group work. Students then normally move back to Cali for their individual thesis research work.
Subjects at Univalle (August – December)
- Chemistry of Environmental Pollution
- Environmental Pollution Microbiology
- Fundamentals of Environmental Processes
- Environment and Development
- Engineering Research Introduction
Subjects at UNESCO-IHE (January – August)
- Integrated Infrastructure Concepts
- Conventional Water Treatment
- Groundwater Treatment and Resources
- Advanced Water Treatment
- Water Transport and Distribution I
- International Fieldtrip
- Water Treatment Processes and Plants
- Elective: Water Transport and Distribution II or Decentralized Water Supply and Sanitation
- Group work
At Univalle (September onwards)
- Thesis Proposal & Work
Information about Univalle
Univalle, founded in 1945, is the main center of higher education in south-eastern Colombia, a regional institution with two main locations in Cali, and with 12 additional sites in cities throughout Colombia. Univalle offers a wide range of graduate and postgraduate degrees and programs, and carries out research and development projects and specialized consultancy services.
The student population of approximately 25,000 students is spread over eight faculties, with 54 academic units and around 180 degree programs, and a PhD program in Science and Engineering. The academic units directly related to the Univalle/ UNESCO-IHE alliance are the Institute for Water and Sanitation (CINARA) and the School of Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering (EIDENAR).