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.

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. Former OWOW Co-Director Tom Cech has documented his experiences traveling and teaching abroad in Perugia through the story maps.


United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization

Food and Agriculture Organization UN LogoOWOW 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)

World Water Assessment PRogramme LogoCo-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.


Canale Emiliano Romagnolo (CER)

Canale Emiliano Romagnolo (CER) Logo

OWOW signed an MOU with Canale Emiliano Romagnolo (CER), one of Italy’s largest irrigation canals and water management districts that supplies water throughout the Emilia-Romagna region for both agriculture and industry. The agreement paves the way for professional exchange and opportunities for students. The MOU signing occurred at a November 2022 conference in Rome co-hosted with WARREDOC, CER and OWOW comparing drought response in Italy and Colorado.


Colorado Department of Agriculture

Colorado Department of Agriculture logoA 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.