Who is a Delta Professional?

“This is the first draft of the DeltaCAP brainstorming to answer this important question. The article will be updated as the ideas evolve further.”


A ‘Delta Water Professional’ (DWP) is an expert with one (usually) or more areas of domain expertise (e.g. a civil engineer, economist) plus a knowledge and set of skills in a broad range of relevant disciplines and general ‘delta-thinking’. This type of professional is often referred to as having a ‘T-shaped profile’ (Figure 1).

Figrue 1: T-shaped profile (after: Moghaddam et al., 2016)


A DWP should have deep expertise in one or more disciplines (e.g. civil engineering) and through expertise in one/more deltaic systems (e.g. flooding, irrigation). These should be supplemented by a set of broad skills and knowledge on wider areas of interest for the DWP to be truly successful in the context of delta thinking/planning and implementation. Following

In addition to expertise in a delta-related discipline and through knowledge of at least one system, a ‘delta water professional’ in the context of Bangladesh should be able to

  1. Describe the historical transition of deltaic areas from the viewpoint of water management. List salient features of that transition (both positive and negative).  Reflect on the future of this process in the context of climate change. (ILO1:Evolution)
  2. Argue that physical and societal processes in deltas (flooding, irrigation, water supply, agriculture, trade) are interdependent and beneficial to be seen as a systemic whole. Describe the interactions among the components and how they affect each other (both positive and negative). (ILO2:Integration)
  3. Identify important elements of interaction between different delta water system components, [while following ‘thematic’ topics (e.g. hydrology, economics, and agriculture).]  And how these interactions are shaped by social relations and social processes. Identify the affected communities by these positive and negative interactions. Describe how to exploit such interactions to enhance livability, sustainability and resilience of the deltaic system. (ILO3:Interactions)
  4. Argue that considering multiple aspects of the water systems in delta-wide water management could provide opportunities to add extra value and create substantial additional benefits related to water management projects. Make estimations of such benefits.
  5. Illustrate the importance of ‘mainstreaming’ green/blue elements to general development process. Describe concrete examples (real-world and hypothetical) of such mainstreaming. (ILO5: Mainstreaming)
  6. Analyse the politics of the stakeholder involvement in the delta management at different spatial and governance scales. (ILO6:Stakeholders)
  7. Reflect on the relationship of best practices of delta-management deltas of Bangladesh and their sub-components (e.g. towns/cities, villages). Propose (conceptual) next steps in moving towards a more integrated and well-managed state for a given concrete case-study. (ILO7:Vision)
  8. Infuse (explain, convince and co-create) effectively his/her own domain knowledge (e.g. Hydraulics, economics, political-science) with all stakeholders. (ILO8:Infuse)
  9. Apply knowledge and best practices in delta-management and delta-thinking in concrete projects (ILO9:Apply)



Moghaddam, Y., Bess, C., Demirkan, H., & Spohrer, J. (2016). T-Shaped: The New Breed of IT Professional. APM & SEE EXECUTIVE UPDATE, 17(8), 7. Retrieved from https://www.cutter.com/sites/default/files/APM/apmu1608.pdf