About this course
This water sustainability course (PH242x) from Tufts University focuses on the engineering and public health components needed to achieve the conservation of safe water locally and globally. Together, we will explore how to create sustainable interventions geared towards improving population health.
This course provides an interdisciplinary framework for understanding the place of water in health policy and engineering by delving into the complex social, economic, political and scientific factors that influence how we approach these critical health and water related challenges.
We identify threats to our water supply, including climate change, urbanization, agriculture and emerging contaminants. We lead a water sampling field trip and analyze the results in order to understand how water quality is assessed and regulated. We learn how to conduct a “Risk Assessment” as it relates to human and environmental health. The class will debate about issues such as water privatization, social and environmental justice and hydrofracturing. We’ll learn about point of use interventions for local interventions and take a field trip to the massive Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to see firsthand how large scale interventions are built and managed. Lastly, we will learn about various anthological determinants that drive the sustainability of interventions, review strategies for water management in developing and developed countries, and discuss the opportunities and challenges with implementing these solutions.
In addition to lectures hosted by Tufts Professors Dr. David M. Gute and Dr. Jeffrey K. Griffiths, the course features field trips, and guest lecturers comprised of renowned water professionals, entrepreneurs and scientists from the fields of public health, engineering, environmental science and health policy.
We hope that your ability to conceptualize and address water-related issues will advance as a result of the lecture content, in class demonstrations and global dialogues. To achieve this goal, we strongly encourage active participation and discussion with the professors, students and water professionals from across the globe.
Lastly, check out the content from The Biology of Water and Health – Fundamentals (PH241x), an archived course that provides a provocative introduction to topics such as the vital role of sanitation and hygiene, waterborne diseases, environmental epidemiology, and water contaminants.
Tufts University is proud to offer the two Biology of Water and Health courses (PH241x & PH242x) in partnership with the Open Education Consortium (OECx). All course content is openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.
What you'll learn
- Multidimensional factors that threaten the availability of safe water locally and globally.
- Procedures for sampling, testing and analyzing water quality in your community
- Risk assessment calculations and risk management techniques for implementing regulations.
- Issues surrounding water privatization, social justice, and hydrofracturing.
- Anthropological determinants which influence future sustainability
- Various water treatment strategies in developing and developed countries, including point of use interventions and large scale treatment plants
- Interdisciplinary/interprofessional nature of water sustainability work
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