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Department of Geography Hydrology and Climate

MOOC "Water in Switzerland"

Jump into hydrology!

What is a MOOC?

MOOC stands for massive open online course. Like in a traditional university course, learners study a subject over a specific time period. However, students attain lectures, discuss problems and solve exercises online. In the MOOC "Water in Switzerland" learners can watch a choice of lectures and field films, as well as solve assessments and practical tasks. The MOOC is split up into seven modules, each of them taking approximately 3 – 4 hours of work each week.


What will be taught in the MOOC «Water in Switzerland»?

The main focus of the MOOC “Water in Switzerland” is on hydrology in general, however the practical examples and case studies and are all set in Switzerland. Where does the water in Swiss rivers come from? What is a 100-year flood? How much water is needed in Switzerland? What are intersections between culture and water? These and further questions will be answered in seven modules. Different experts present their hydrologic knowledge in both lectures and field films.

In the first module, you will be given an overview about the hydrological basics. In the next two modules, you will get to know important hydrological concepts like precipitation, soil- and groundwater, discharge, hydrological catchments and glaciers. The fourth module is presenting potential natural hazards, caused by too much or too little water. In module five we have experts talking about the quality of surface water in Switzerland. Also, we will give an insight into Swiss drinking water quality. Module 6 is shedding light on constructions close to water – especially hydro power plants. To finish the course up, we will be looking at interactions between humans and water in Module 7. We will look at water from a cultural perspective and present the Hydrological Atlas of Switzerland (HADES), as well as the citizen science project CrowdWater.                                                                                                 


Information & Enrollment

Additional information about the course is provided on our facebook homepage. Gain an insight by watching our trailer now.

To participate, you can find our MOOC on the E-Learning platform of our FacultyMOOC Water in Switzerland.

As soon as you are enrolled, you will have access to all course material. If you are interested in a specific subject only, please be welcome to watch selected lectures and field films and navigate through the MOOC at your own speed.



The MOOC «Water in Switzerland» does not require any specific preliminary knowledge or skills. The course is directed to everybody with an interest in the versatility of water in Switzerland.

The course is in generally taught in German, however some lectures are held in English. There are optional subtitles in German for these lectures though.


For students

For elementary students of Geography, Earth System Sciences and the Environmental Sciences the MOOC "Water in Switzerland" communicates important basics. Students of the University of Zurich are able to attend the course as a module (Geo 866 Water in Switzerland) to obtain 2 ECTS credit points. The module can be booked directly in the module booking system of the University of Zurich.



This MOOC is for free.

Take this opportunity and learn about water in Switzerland today. We are looking forward to your participation!