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Keywords:

  • water resources education;
  • water policy/regulation/decision making;
  • careers in water resources;
  • water resources research

ABSTRACT: Effectively teaching water resources policy to university science and engineering students is both important and difficult. Most careers in the water resources field require an understanding of the comprehensive governmental regulatory structure affecting water use. Also, few science and engineering curricula encourage their students to take policy courses. Successful approaches to teaching water resources policy might include epistemological comparisons, case studies, issue maps, and interactive simulations. Obstacles to the effective teaching of this subject include students' insufficient preparation and student disdain and cynicism. These obstacles may be mitigated by requiring a prerequisite, developing a glossary of policy-related terms, and introducing the course through lectures emphasizing realistic views of the water resources management field and the nature of the American political system.