Water expertise France

Training and Formation

PROJECT / Combining open and participatory tools to help water management stakeholders adapt their practices : Wat-A-Game


Training and Formation ( 16 posts )


City, Country: France and Africa


French partner submitting the project description: the national Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (Irstea)

Project Owner: Irstea


French partners: Cirad, Lisode, Oxyo Water, Casden and LEGTA Théza

Foreign partners: ComMod




Dates of project: since 2008


Project Logo :



A few words on the project…

Irstea and its partners created an innovative way to raise awareness and enhance cooperation among water managers : a board game materializing issues at a catchment level.


Background or General project description

Various actors and uses are involved in the management of water resources, which has been weakened by climate change. Multiple models are available for managing resources, each of which is adapted to the circumstances and risks surrounding water resources. A common thread across these models is the need for informed managers that are familiar with the risks and uses related to these resources.

In the face of current and future climate risks and hazards, strengthening the capacities of water managers at all levels is a crucial issue for developing sustainable, rigorous responses.


French Expertise

Irstea worked alongside its partners to develop a training and teaching method to help water managers to manage water resources sustainably at the level of their own region in a context of global and climate changes through the COOPLAAGE (Combining Open and Participatory Tools to Enable Water Management Stakeholders to Adapt) Wat-A-Game.

The goal of this method is to incite stakeholders to take action by providing a set of easy to-use, simple, rigorous tools and methods to set up participatory workshops focused on modeling, simulation, planning, monitoring and assessment.

The COOPLAAGE pack also includes a Wat-A-Game kit containing material and methodological components for creating an analogical model (with cards and marbles) of a play version of a catchment area as well as COOPLAN processes for participatory planning and Just-A-Grid, which is designed to introduce and foster discussions on water-related principles of justice.

The added value of this methodology is that it formalizes knowledge from a variety of sources in a physical, easily transportable format that makes it easy to define and exchange values and viewpoints.

COOPLAAGE can be used to build scenarios including climate events (drought or heavy rain) and socioeconomic events (changes in price or demographics).


Strengths of project

COOPLAGE is a cross-functional tool that can be used to assess a range of challenges at very large scales and with a wide variety of audiences in order to strengthen the knowledge needed to address these challenges.


More information