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CIVL4615: Water Resources and Hydrology (2010 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL4615: Water Resources and Hydrology (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Maggi, Federico
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Course objective and aims

The overall objective of this unit of study is to give a general introduction to water resources, how these are linked the hydrological processes, and how engineering plays a role in the management of water resources. The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of: hydrology, geophysical flows of water throughout the environment, dynamics of precipitation formations, transformations into runoff, reservoir and lake dynamics, stream flow discharge, surface runoff assessment, calculation of peak flows, the hydrograph theory, water supply networks and systems, design procedures for storage and service reservoirs, reservoir safe yield, conservation and management of water resources, wastewater reuse, indicators of water quality, concepts of water treatment methods and units. The topics mentioned above will be covered in both qualitative and quantitative aspects.

Course outline

This unit of study covers the basic aspects of water resources and hydrology, and is divided into two parts:

Part 1 - The hydrologic cycle

This first part will cover: elements of meteorology, precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, surface runoff and groundwater; Emphasis is given to the analysis and characterization of precipitations, surface water flow measurement and storage in reservoirs, groundwater flow dynamics, and how soil properties affect groundwater flow in the space-time continuum.

Part 2 - Water quality, management and treatment

The second part will cover: elements of water characterization, chemical and biochemical characteristics of water, chemical and biochemical kinetics in water, water quality issues in lakes and reservoirs, rivers and estuaries, and principles of water treatment.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL2611 AND CIVL3612 AND ENGG1802 AND MATH2061.
Additional Notes: The unit of study builds on the theory and concepts learnt in CIVL2611 Fluid Mechanics: Inviscid Flow and 3612, and Environmental and Fluid Engineering: Viscous Flow.
Lecturer/s: Dr Maggi, Federico
Tutor/s: Dr. Maggi, Federico, Dr. Rakesh Khanal
Timetable: CIVL4615 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 13
4 Site Visit
5 Laboratory
T&L Activities: Lecture notes

The material presented during class is collected in lecture notes and PowerPoint slides. Notes and slides will be posted in the WebCT system under this unit after each lecture. Students are however encouraged to take notes.

Tutorial structure

Tutorials in this unit are an opportunity for the students to be exposed to problem solving of typical engineering occurrence. Tutorials will be presented in the form of exercises, bibliographic research and survey, and writing short reports. Each tutorial theme will be posted on WebCT the day before the tutorial. For tutorials that mainly base on exercises, solution to the problems will be posted on the WebCT 1 or 2 days after the tutorial hours. The students may continue their tutorials outside the class. For tutorials for which a survey/analysis/interpretation work is requested, students may be invited to propose their outcomes to the class for open discussion the next tutorial hours.

Independent Study

Students are expected to review lecture material on a weekly basis following lectures.


Access to WebCT can be found at:

Site Visit: Wastewater treatment plant site visit as appropriate.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
An ability to exercise critical decision making in defining solutions, and an understanding the underlying engineering processes. Design and Problem Solving Skills (Level 1)
Understanding basic aspects of water resources and hydrology. Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 1)
An appreciation that engineering fundamentals are based on the principles and knowledge of science and mathematics. An ability to apply engineering fundamentals along with the basics of science and mathematics to engineering problem solving. Fundamentals of Science and Engineering (Level 1)
An appreciation of the significance and scope of ethical standards in engineering practice and the responsibility that an engineer espouses within both national and international guidelines. A commitment to enacting high ethical standards within engineering practice. An appreciation of engineering sustainability and the impact of engineering decisions within the broader economic, environmental and socio-cultural context. Professional Values, Judgement and Conduct (Level 1)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 1)
1. Ability apply scaling analysis to dispersion and water withdrawal problems in reservoirs.
2. Ability to predict rates of contaminant dispersion in rivers, estuaries and the ocean.
3. Ability to specify basic design parameters for ocean outfalls.
4. Ability to understand modelling procedures for water supply, reuse, and disposal.
5. Ability to specify methods for wastewater reuse and suggest applications.
Fundamentals of Science and Engineering (Level 1)
6. Understanding of the governing equations of stratified flows
7. Understanding the role of boundaries on diffusion of substances in water
8. Ability to describe water characteristics and properties of water quality.
Professional Values, Judgement and Conduct (Level 1)
9. Ability to understand and apply management principles to water supply, reuse and disposal.
10. Ability to apply conservation and management principles to water use.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quiz 1 No 25.00 Week 6
2 Quiz 2 No 25.00 Week 11
3 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period
Assessment Description: Multiple individual assessments sessions will be carried out. The following schedule is tentative and subject to possible change. Two 2-hour quizzes are planned during the tutorial hours of week 6 and week 11. Each is given a weight of 25%. A final exam of 3 hours is planned in the exam period. The final exam is given a weight of 50%. Quizes will be commensurate to the material presented in class untill the corresponding week.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: The faculty attempts to maintain consistency and quality in its T&L operations by adhering to Academic Board policy. These policies can be found on the Central Policy Online site. A brief summary of the relevant T&L policies that should be referred to while filling in these forms can be found at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Policy Page.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Quality
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Water Resources Engineering

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 This will depend on the preferences of the staff member conducting the course – but could follow this sequence:
Week 2 Water Quality requirements
Week 3 Water & wastewater treatment methods
Week 4 Water & wastewater treatment methods
Week 5 Water & wastewater treatment methods
Week 6 Water distribution networks
Assessment Due: Quiz 1
Week 7 Water distribution in high-rise buildings
Week 8 Water conservation applications, techniques and economics
Week 9 Wastewater reuse
Week 10 Irrigation applications
Week 11 Industrial applications
Assessment Due: Quiz 2
Week 12 Small scale hydro-power and water management systems
Week 13 Review
STUVAC (Week 14) Week 14 is not available for classes – University policy
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Civil (till 2014) 2010
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) (till 2012) 2010
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design and Problem Solving Skills (Level 1) Yes 0%
Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 1) Yes 0%
Fundamentals of Science and Engineering (Level 1) Yes 0%
Professional Values, Judgement and Conduct (Level 1) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.