Bridging the water

Co create to learn & experience


Bridging the Virtual Waters: turn a canal back into a river

Are you interested in international water resource management? Keen on travelling to other countries to learn about their water situation, but stuck due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus?

Are you enrolled in a BA or MA related to water management or simply interested in water?

And would you like to know how you can turn back a canal into a river?

Then you are the one we are looking for!

Finding solutions for the challenges of the Liesbeek River in Cape Town, South Africa, is the focus of the short digital living lab ‘Bridging the Virtual Waters’.

This will take place Wednesday 23 September, 8 October, and 5 November 2020, 15.30-17.30h CET.

During three online sessions, students and teachers from the Netherlands and South Africa will meet and share knowledge and skills to find solutions for a canal that once followed the natural course of a river. From several perspectives this case will be virtually discussed, and you are invited to contribute to this!

Each time we will start with an inspiring plenary session and after that you will work in intercultural groups on the challenges of the Liesbeek River. The groups will be a mix of students and teachers from the two countries and different study programmes.

To be able to fully participate, some prior knowledge on water issues is useful.

For each session we assign a bit of homework. We also expect you to stay in touch with your group and to continue the research in between the online meetings.

When you have participated actively in all three sessions, you will receive a certificate of participation.

We look forward to meeting you digitally!

Deadline for registration: 21 September 2020. Click here to register: 



Learning goal

Wednesday 23 September 2020


15.30-17.30h CET

Welcome and introduction

Goal of the short course Bridging the Virtual Waters by Mariska Heijs, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences


Short presentations:

participants living lab Cape Town


Key speaker:

Dr. Kevin Winter, University of Cape Town: Challenges of the Liesbeek River – turning a canal into a river



intercultural exchange where students and teachers from the Netherlands and South Africa will get to know each other and work together to find solutions for the case of the Liesbeek River.

Each group will be assigned a separate challenge, such as plastic pollution, unpredictable flow, ‘room for the river’, desalinization.



short pitch of the results of the groupwork

You learn about the concept of a living lab and the role you can play.


You become acquainted with the Liesbeek River and you design possible interventions.

Thursday 8 October 2020


15.30-17.30h CET

Presentations living lab case studies:

Waterstraat in Delft and

Waterhub in Stellenbosch

Emilie Buist & Lindsey Schwidder, TU Delft



Friends of the Liesbeek River



‘Reality check’

With your group you continue working on research methods and how to run a physical living lab: practicalities, difficulties, and barriers.


You will also start mapping the stakeholders of the Liesbeek River.


You develop innovative solutions for the (sub)challenges of the Liesbeek River.


You evaluate your design by studying restrictions and practical implications of your design.

Thursday 5 November



15.30-17.30h CET

Presentation: how to be an entrepreneur?

Creative exercise on entrepreneurial thinking.



Presentations of the findings of the groups.

How to move on with your research, which parts of the research can be done on a small scale, where and how?

You present the results of your groupwork, what you have learnt from these sessions and how you will apply this knowledge in your studies and work. 

For whom: all SA and NL students (BA/MA) and teachers interested in international experiences.

Especially from UCT, TUD, HR, CEW/NHL Stenden, WWI Durban, Master River Delta Development HZ/HR/VHL

When: 23 Sept, 8 Oct, 5 Nov 2020 15.30-17.30 CET
(3rd time SA 16.30-18.30h)

Time investment:

6 (3 x 2 h) hours online labs

1-3 hours extra per week to do research and communicate with other participants (total: 9-15 hours).

Credits: You have to check with you own study programme how your participation can result in credits or points.

certificate of participation from OKP Bridging the Water will be handed out to students who participated actively in, and in between, all three sessions.

Registration at the latest: Monday 21 September 2020.

Once you have registered you will receive an invitation for a Teams meeting.

More information? Please contact Sjoske Tuinstra,

Bridging the Water is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme.