Course syllabus

Risk Analysis and Risk Management


3 hec



English name

Risk assessment and risk management

Swedish name

Riskbedömning och riskhantering

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, you will be able to:

  • Formulate and discuss the need, purpose and principles of risk assessment and risk management within the water sector, based on theoretical background and practical application.
  • Explain the basic concept of different methods for analysing and evaluating risks within the water sector.
  • Apply and have deeper understanding of a selected number of risk assessment methods or techniques, based on a project assignment linked to your own research work.
  • Describe how risk assessment results can be linked to decision analysis and how cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis can be used to provide decision support.

Course content

The course includes the following key elements:

  • Definition of risk and how it is linked to the water sector. Basic description of the terms risk, probability, consequences and uncertainty.
  • The risk management process. Description of the basics of risk management in society and the different parts of the risk management process.
  • Basic principles for risk management in the water sector, including the concept of Water Safety Plans presented by the World Health Organization.
  • Risk assessment methods. Review of general methods and techniques for estimating and calculating risk levels, for example:
    • Risk matrices
    • Event trees
    • Fault trees
    • Monte Carlo simulations
  • Examples of methods developed for drinking water supply:
    • Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA)
    • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
    • Dynamic fault trees for analysis water supply reliability
  • Risk evaluation
    • Risk acceptance
    • Economic valuation of risk
  • Decision analysis
    • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of risk reduction measures
    • Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) of risk reduction measures

Teaching activities

The course includes five days of scheduled workshops with lectures, exercised, and discussions. An individual project work is used to get practical experience of performing a risk assessment (or parts of it) withing the students’ own research field.


The examination is based on the individual assignment and the participant must attend all scheduled course activities and actively participate in discussions and exercises.


This course is open for PhD students and for participants from the water sector. Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of drinking water supply and other water systems, but no prior knowledge of risk assessment.


Andreas Lindhe,, +46 31 772 20 60


  • Kaplan, S., & Garrick, B. J. (1981). On The Quantitative Definition of Risk. Risk Analysis, 1(1), 11-27.
  • Aven, T. (2010). On how to define, understand and describe risk. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 95(6), 623-631.
  • Rosén, L., Hokstad, P., Lindhe, A., Sklet, S. and Røstum, J. (2007). Generic framework and methods for integrated risk management in water safety plans, Deliverable no. D4.1.3, D4.2.1, D4.2.2, D4.2.3, TECHNEAU.
  • Rosén, L., Lindhe, A., Chenoweth, J., Fife-Schaw, C. and Beuken, R. (2010). Decision support for risk management in drinking water supply – Overview and framework, Deliverable no. D4.4.1, TECHNEAU.
  • Lindhe, A., Rosén, L., Norberg, T., Bergstedt, O., & Pettersson, T. J. R. (2011). Cost-effectiveness analysis of risk-reduction measures to reach water safety targets. Water Research, 45(1), 241-253.
  • Bergion, V., Lindhe, A., Sokolova, E. and Rosén, L. (2017). Combining risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis for evaluating microbial risk mitigation measures in a drinking water system, Accepted for publication in Water Research.
  • Additional literature based on the individual assignment linked to each participants’ doctoral project.
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