In the context of monitoring and reporting on SDG Indicator 6.4.2 on level of water stress, the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6) implemented by the FAO Land and Water Division, in collaboration with IHE Delf Institute for Water Education (IHE Delf), has developed an online course available in English. 

The “Assessing the environmental flow requirement for SDG Indicator 6.4.2 (Level of water stress)" e-learning course is designed primarily for staff in national agencies tasked with the monitoring of SDG indicator 6.4.2 and the sustainable management of water and other natural resources. Water professionals, eco-biologists and other professionals interested in assessing water flows needed to maintain aquatic ecosystem health and resilience are encouraged to take the course too.


The training course is free of charge and certificates of completion will be issued at the end of the course. It consists of four self-paced modules:

  1. E-Flows and the SDGs,
  2. Underlying Science,
  3. Assessment Methods and
  4. Implementation of e-flows.

The pre-recorded lectures are held by Michael McClain, Professor of Ecohydrology at IHE Delft.

After the course

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe why securing environmental water requirements are essential to meet SDG target 6.4 and thereby maintain aquatic ecosystem health and resilience,
  • Explain the key aspects of hydrological and ecological science underlying e-flows, including the role of groundwater in the formation of environmental flows,
  • Compare different methodologies for the assessment of e-flow requirements.
  • Evaluate which measures to implement e-flows are most suited to each national situation.  

The course will be soon available in Spanish and French too.