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Global water impacts through Italian partnerships

 Study abroad program in Rome and Perugia

OWOW offers an annual study abroad program to Italy with our partner university, Università per Stranieri di Perugia. In less than two weeks, students can earn three elective credits through this class taught partly in Rome and partly in Perugia, a picturesque Umbrian town approximately two hours northeast of Italy’s capital.

Open to undergraduate students (from MSU Denver or other universities) as well as non-degree-seeking participants, the course explores Italy’s water history from the aqueducts to the present day. A focus is on Italy’s agricultural (and wine!) heritage, building, and celebrating links between Italy and Colorado. For more information, please email:


Italian OWOW partners 


WARREDOC (Water Resources Research and Documentation Center)

The study abroad program is a result of the partnership between OWOW and Università per Stranieri di Perugia’s WARREDOC. WARREDOC’s focus is on research, advanced training, and scientific communication on water and the environment.

Story Mapping Project

Woven into the collaboration is a story mapping project – story maps are interactive web sites that make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell stories. OWOW Co-Director Tom Cech has documented his experiences traveling and teaching abroad in Perugia through the story maps below:

WellsDid you know that ancient Etruscans, Medieval Italian popes, and modern Midwest farmers share some of the same cultural traditions? 

Wine: Vineyard heaven; the Italian way of making wine. 

Pasta: Pasta and Pastries; a way of living.


United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization

OWOW is a partner organization in the UN FAO’s Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG), leveraging the combined resources of both Denver Botanic Gardens and MSU Denver to develop and improve best practices in water-efficient urban agriculture and food access/nutrition. This work focuses on developing-world applications.




UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Co-located with WARREDOC in Perugia, UNESCO’s WWAP focuses on equipping water managers and key decision-makers with the information, data, tools, and skills necessary to enable them to effectively participate in the development of policies. OWOW co-hosted a 2018 forum on the food/water/energy nexus with WARREDOC and WWAP.


Colorado Department of Agriculture

A collaboration between OWOW (Denver Botanic Gardens and MSU Denver) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture focuses on water-efficient urban agriculture through soil management. While Colorado focused, this collaboration’s work has a global impact through OWOW’s Italy-based partnerships.

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