Water Resources Engineering

Module aims

This course aims to enable students to:

  • Understand the processes that govern the movement and storage of water in the terrestrial environment and how these processes can be understood using physical principles and represented using mathematical modelling techniques.  
  • Understand the hydrological data that are required to support such models and the associated uncertainties in both data and models.  
  • Be able to use models to identify, design, and manage surface water and groundwater resources and apply methods to quantify the effect of climate variability and change on design risk.  
  • Appreciate the specific demands agriculture places on water resources, especially groundwater.  
  • Understand the challenges for water resources in the future related to climate change.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the key drivers on water resources, both for drinking water and food production.  
  • Understand the individual hydrological processes and their integrated behaviour in catchments.  
  • Appreciate the use of modelling techniques for water resources management.  
  • Manipulate, interpret and integrate various sources of hydrological data.  
  • Construct and operate various hydrological models.  
  • Use these models and data to design simple water resources schemes. Understand the measurement of environmental variables and their value and limitations.  
  • Use of programming tools (e.g. Matlab) to develop and solve mathematical models of catchment processes.  
  • Use these models and data to design simple water resources schemes. 
  • Use risk assessment in decision making.

Module syllabus

Topics include: 

  • Hydrological Processes and their measurement: Rainfall and Evaporation; Runoff; Groundwater.  
  • Water Resource Assessment and Management: Simulation techniques; Reservoir yield; Groundwater resources.  
  • Water and agriculture. 
  • 01 Introduction – Global Water Resources AP  
  • 02 Groundwater Resource Management APB  
  • 03 Groundwater Resource Development – Sustainable Yield APB  
  • 04 Introduction to Rainfall-Runoff modelling - AP 
  • 05 Physically based Rainfall-Runoff modelling - AP 
  • 06 Agriculture and Water (engineering and Impacts on Resources and Quality) SS  
  • 07 Water Resources and Demand: an Overview (CW hand in) CO  
  • 08 Introduction to Reservoir Design (Lab Session) CO  
  • 09 Industry Speaker (CW return and feedback) Guest

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Athanasios Paschalis