Water Resources Management

The WRM program provides a core understanding of the natural science shaping the water cycle as well as the social contexts and processes that drive changes in water availability and use. WRM is one of seven available concentrations in the two-year residential Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program.  

Our Vision

Because water is local, every place has a unique set of water management challenges. Our foremost goal is to equip students with the fundamental concepts and analytical tools needed to approach any water problem. Students enjoy a small class size and a low student-faculty ratio as they build this core foundation and develop additional skills and topic-specific expertise relevant to their interests and career goals.

The Curriculum

Our curriculum provides a strong basis in the physical, chemical and ecological sciences across systems including watersheds, wetlands, streams, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters. In addition, students gain an understanding of the economic, legal and financial factors that drive real-world water management decisions and develop a robust skill set in key analytical techniques relevant to water resource management. To complement this core curriculum, you’ll work with your faculty advisor to choose coursework within an area of specialization aligned with your specific career aspirations. 

WRM students receive in-depth training in: 

• Physical, chemical and ecological sciences across systems
• Applied Modeling and Data Analysis
• Policy and legal context and constraints for decision-making
• Local-scale water governance
• Project finance

Snapshot: Employment Profile for WRM Alumni

   • 100% of WRM graduates were hired within approximately 6 months of graduation.
   • 83% are in a job related to the environment.
   • Median salary range = $65,000-70,000


> View: Full graphic for WRM employment profile
> View: Complete overview with employment profiles for all concentrations

Your Future

The Nicholas School’s dedicated Career Center has helped our graduates pursue fulfilling positions as analysts, consultants, water utility managers, corporate sustainability advisors, entrepreneurs and more. Employers include government agencies, public water utilities, consulting firms, international corporations, fuel and resource extraction companies, research centers and non-profit organizations. 


Find out if our program is right for you. Feel free to contact us with questions.  
•  Participating Faculty
•  Full Program Description
•  Prerequisites & Required Courses
•  How to Apply


Welcome to the family! Here are some resources to get you started. 
•   Before You Arrive
•   Student Advising
•   Curriculum Planning Worksheet
•   Master’s Projects


•   For students incoming Fall 2018 >
•   For students incoming Fall 2017 >
•   For students incoming Fall 2016 >

For more information, contact Program Chair James Heffernan.


“Each year, there is a drought or a flood somewhere in the United States, and many droughts and floods around the world. The changing landscape of water availability poses challenges to local communities and multi-national corporations alike, and this has been brought home by the 2015 drought in California along with the simultaneous floods in Texas. Ensuring water availability and sustainability will be one of the grand challenges of the 21st century for governments, companies and individuals.”

Martin Doyle headshot wrm charir.jpg

Martin Doyle
Professor of River Systems Science and Policy
(919) 613-8026