ENVT2251 Hydrology and Water Resource Management

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Earth specialisation in the Environmental Science major sequence
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Geology; Geographical Sciences major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Life and Health Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit provides a holistic treatment of the field of hydrology with a focus on process understanding in relation to the catchment water balance and topics relevant to water management. A focus is given to understanding and quantitative descriptions of the surface and subsurface components of the hydrological cycle allowing students to appreciate the fundamentals of the disciplines of both surface hydrology and hydrogeology. Students gain an understanding of a range of biophysical processes through exposition of fundamental theories and process descriptions, combined with analysis and interpretation of observed data. Contemporary topics related to water management such as managing pollution, water resource allocation and river management are introduced. In addition to lectures, assignments and computer-based data analyses, field and laboratory work exposes students to practical applications and approaches to hydrological measurements.
Students are able to (1) source routine hydrological information and summarise key processes governing the water balance across scales from field plots to the whole of catchment; (2) explain the climate and weather drivers of the water balance; (3) identify critical factors controlling runoff generation and assess runoff based on soil and rainfall properties; (4) demonstrate an understanding of how water moves through unsaturated soil and how groundwater moves; (5) assess the role of vegetation on the water balance and how land-use change impacts upon hydrological pathways; and (6) apply this knowledge to practical environmental hydrology problems related to water resources, environmental flow allocation, and water quality and contamination issues in agricultural, urban and mining impacted landscapes.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical reports:
- data analysis pracical report
- field/lab practical exercises and vignette; (2) catchment management report; and (3) online theory assessments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Matt Hipsey
Unit rules
EART1105 The Dynamic Planet
ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology
GEOG1103 Geographies of a Global City
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; computer/modelling exercises/labs and field work: 2 hours per week

Ward, A. D. and Trimble, S. W. Environmental Hydrology, 3rd edn: Lewis Publishers 2014

Gordon, N. D. et al. Stream Hydrology: an Introduction for Ecologists, 2nd edn: Wiley Publishers 2004


Hornberger, G. M. et al. Elements of Physical Hydrology: John Hopkins University Press 1998

Bras, R. L. Hydrology: an Introduction to Hydrologic Science: Addison-Wesley 1990

Chow, V. T. et al. Applied Hydrology: McGraw-Hill 1988

Dingman, S. L. Physical Hydrology: Prentice-Hall 1993

Shaw, E. M. Hydrology in Practice: Chapman & Hall 1994

Tindall, J. A. and Kunkel, J. R. Unsaturated Zone Hydrology for Scientists and Engineers: Prentice-Hall 1999

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.