Summer School 2023: Healthy and Resilient Catchments - From Science to Action

Summer School 2023 will open doors to the next generation of young water professionals from 2-8 July in Prague, Czechia to explore the benefits of Natural Small Water Retention Measures for Sustainable Water Management.

Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe, as a partner of the EU Horizon 2020 OPTAIN project, is opening the application process of the Summer School 2023 to accept 20 young specialists with a background in water management or environmental management and related programs, as well as those interested in enhancing water resource management and broader aspects of water security, with a specific interest in Natural Small Water Retention Measures (NSWRM).

Building on the new knowledge and findings of the OPTAIN project, the Summer School will enhance students’ knowledge, skills, and competencies to support better implementation of natural, small and underutilized water and nutrient retention measures. By showing under which climate, scale, location in the catchment, and combination of the NSWRM measures perform best, the Summer School focuses on enhancing both the environmental and socio-economic performance of the catchments. There is a need to increase the knowledge and understanding of the multiple benefits spatially targeted combinations of NSWRM have on the management of small agricultural catchments and on the conditions under which they perform most effectively.

Dates and location

The Summer School will take place in Prague, Czechia,with a planned field trip to Cechticky region to visit the local OPTAIN case study area. The start date is 3 July, with the program ending on 7 July. Arrivals are expected on 2 July, and departure is planned for 8 July.

Scope and objectives

The main objective of the Summer School is to showcase the application of NSWRM and their benefits for different catchments. The program will focus on optimal selection and combination of NSWRM, monitoring and data collection, data processing, socio-economic benefits, and using scientific tools to explore ways to support the decision-making process efficiently.  

The participants will be part of an exciting program enriched with practical sessions and first-hand knowledge from OPTAIN partners to:

  • Develop scenarios for NSWRM planning according to stakeholder priorities and considering the environmental factors. 
  • Apply a step-by-step science-based analysis of NSWRM.
  • Get insights into the governance aspect of NSWRM implementation.  
  • Experience real-life situations by working with a specific location, challenges, and with local stakeholders.
  • Present the solutions at a multi-stakeholder forum for feedback and evaluation.

By the end of the Summer School, each participant will have a better understanding of applying scientific knowledge to practice. And arguably, the most exciting benefit is the opportunity to co-create applicable solutions for local stakeholders, utilizing interdisciplinary teamwork and the unique background of each participant.

Throughout the program, the selected participants will receive guidance from lecturers and tutors, supporting them during their journey and providing constructive feedback.

Fees and eligibility

The Summer School is open to students in MSc. and PhD. water management or environmental management and related programs, as well as to those who show an interest in enhancing water resource management and broader aspects of water security. Young water professionals from OPTAIN partner countries - Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland - are eligible to apply.

The Summer School aims to have an interdisciplinary group of 20 participants. The applicants must communicate fluently in English in spoken and written form.

The following costs will be covered by the organizers of the Summer School:

  • Lectures, practical exercises, and all activities.
  • Meals and accommodation for the duration of the Summer School.
  • A field trip to Cechticky case study area.
  • A travel subsidy of up to 250 EUR is available per participant.

How to apply

Interested candidates must submit a completed application form by clicking HERE. The second condition is to submit the CV in English to with the subject being: Summer School 2023 [First Name, Last Name].

For more information, contact Please, use the phrase OPTAIN Summer School 2023 in the subject of the email for all your inquiries.

The deadline for submitting your application is 15 May 2023.