River basin game

The Twente Water Centre has developed a computer-supported River Basin Game which is freely downloadable below. The tool is primarily an educational tool suitable for university students, but it is also fun to play with colleague academics or water professionals. The game nicely illustrates social processes taking place when water in a river basin is a scarce resource.

Game as zip file.


Water resources management cannot be seen separate from the national consumption pattern and trade. As water is used elsewhere for the production of commodities that are imported, consumers have a ´water footprint´ outside their national borders. The aim of the role play is to get hands-on experience with the links between national consumption of food, natural fibres and bio-energy from agriculture on the one hand and the use of water resources across the globe.

In the role play there are four countries that aim to develop. As a participant, you are member of the cabinet of one of those countries and responsible for meeting development objectives. But you also care about your global water footprint and about meeting environmental flow requirements in your country.


Interested to play?

The role play is supported by an excel-model, four game boards (one for each country), water and commodity notes, role descriptions, country data sheets and a ppt-presentation for providing introduction and feedback. If you are interested in playing the game and getting the full set of materials, feel free to send us an email [a.y.hoekstra-at-utwente.nl] explaining in what context you would like to play the game. If necessary we can assist you by facilitating the game.