MEng Civil Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Water Resource Planning & Management

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL40402
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates


Water scarcity affects millions of people worldwide each year. Competition over limited freshwater resources is expected to be exacerbated further in the coming decades due to pressures from population growth and economic development, along with increased variability in water availability caused by climate change. Engineers have a critical role to play in helping societies to respond to growing water scarcity challenges, including through support for design and assessment of policies and interventions to support sustainable, equitable and efficient water resource management. In this context, the purpose of this unit is to provide students with a working knowledge of the physical principles of catchment hydrology and how these processes can be modeled using mathematical techniques to quantify impacts of changes in climate and land use on water availability. Students are subsequently introduced to concepts of water resource use and sustainability in different global contexts, and develop skills to combine hydrologic knowledge with microeconomic economic techniques to design and evaluate alternative policies for managing freshwater resources.


This unit aims to provide students with the technical skills and interdisciplinary knowledge necessary to be able to:


  • Explain the processes governing the movement of water and transport of contaminants in the surface and subsurface.
  • Develop and apply a range of analytical surface water and groundwater models to solve common hydrological problems.
  • Understand the different uses of water, and discuss the complexity of freshwater scarcity challenges globally.

Integrate hydrological modeling with microeconomic concepts to evaluate

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Report 35%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

Feedback methods

via Blackboard

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 52.5
Project supervision 22.5
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 67

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Timothy Foster Unit coordinator

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