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CENV6162 Water Resources Planning and Management

Module Overview

Increasing populations and climatic change are causing increasing demands for water. Many of the world’s river basins (including those in the UK) are under water stress, i.e. where demands exceed the available water. This module will describe how river basin water resources can be managed by calculating the demands and using a systems approach to water resources planning and management.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Water resources are under increasing pressure from growing demands from towns, industry and agriculture. We are also facing an uncertain future due to anticipated climate change. Recent sequences of drought and flood years have shown that traditional civil engineering solutions to managing water resources are not necessarily the most effective, or may not be adequate in changing conditions. Water resources planning and management has to look beyond simple utilization of existing structures. Solutions have to work within the Water Framework Directive so water resources planning and management needs a systems analysis approach. This will include managing the available water resource and water demands within the constraints set by technical, social, political and economic drivers.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Constraints of the Water Framework Directive
  • Construction and operation of river basin models e.g. WEAP
  • Water demands from towns, agriculture and industry including their quantification
  • Fundamentals of water quality models
  • Selected techniques of optimization
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify available water resources and how these vary in time
  • Build simple optimisation models using Linear Programming
  • Simulate changes in water quality and relate these to regulations
  • Evaluate risk in planning for floods and droughts
  • Plan future demand scenarios based on climate change
  • Evaluate system management options to optimise water availability
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Decision Making
  • Report writing
  • Time management
  • Group work
  • Exercise independent judgement
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use simulation software such as WEAP for river basin modelling


1. Introduction Course overview Water Framework Directive Climate change and impacts on water resources Demand estimation 2. River basin modelling and irrigation River basin modelling, use of WEAP software Estimating agricultural demands from irrigation systems 3. Water availability and water quality modelling Statistics, probability and stochastic modelling Water quality modelling 4. Optimization and performance monitoring Optimization of water allocation Performance monitoring and asset management

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture/tutorials, group computer sessions. Guest lectures from water resources practitioners will be organized whenever opportunities arise.

Completion of assessment task20
Supervised time in studio/workshop6
Wider reading or practice94
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Loucks D.P. and Beek E.V. (2005). Water Resources Systems Planning and Management. 

Karmouz M., Szidarovszky F., and Zahraie B. (2003). Water Resources System Analysis. 

Vedula S., and Mujumdar P.P. Water Resources Systems. 

Software requirements. WEAP, CROPWAT, MATLAB


Assessment Strategy

Repeat Method: external repeat - as per referral method.


MethodPercentage contribution
Computer Modelling Task 20%
Examination  (120 minutes) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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