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Unit of study_

CIVL9614: Hydrology

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 a detailed understanding of: the hydrologic cycle of water as a whole and its specific components including: 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, ground water flows, aquifers dynamics, concept of water quality and water treatment methods and units. The topics mentioned above will be covered in both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Use will be made of essential concepts of energy, mass and momentum conservation. An intermediate level of integral and differential calculus is required as well as knowledge and use of calculation software such as Excell and Matlab.


Academic unit Civil Engineering
Unit code CIVL9614
Unit name Hydrology
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

(CIVL9802 or ENGG9802) AND CIVL9612 AND MATH2061

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Federico Maggi,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home extended release) Type E final exam hurdle task Final exam
Type E, no MCQs, comprehensive problem solving
70% Formal exam period 48 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Online task hurdle task Mid-semester test (online)
Open book, problem conceptualization and calculations. MCQs.
30% Week 08
Due date: 07 Oct 2021 at 11:00

Closing date: 07 Oct 2021
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
Type E final exam = Type E final exam ?

In-semester test. Demonstrate ability to understand the proposed questions and make a conceptual representation of the problem. Demonstrate the capability to apply acquired knowledge and use calculations to propose a solution.

Final Exam. Demonstrate ability to understand the proposed questions and make a conceptual representation of the problem. Demonstrate the capability to apply acquired knowledge and use calculations to propose a solution. Be able to critically describe and report the hypotheses used and the methods applied. Be able to communicate your work effectively.

Detailed information can be found also in Canvas. 

If there is any change, updated information will be dispatched by the Lecturer/Coordinator in a timely manner via Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Failure to attend for any assessment will award zero marks unless special consideration is granted.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Global water resources Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO6 LO10
Week 02 Elements of statistics for hydrology Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO6 LO7
Week 03 Elements of meteorology Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 04 Precipitation Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 05 Evaporation Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 06 Transpiration Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 07 Infiltration Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10
Week 08 Surface hydrology Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10
Week 09 Groundwater characteristics (soil hydraulic properties) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 10 Groundwater hydrology (Darcy’s Law and the Richards equation) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 11 Groundwater dynamics (unconfined and confined aquifer dynamics) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 12 Reservoir dynamics (physics and design) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

Classes and tutorials will be online

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

  • Peavy, Rowe & Tchobanoglous, Environmental Engineering (1st ). McGraw-Hill, 1986. 0-07-049134-8
  • Tchobanoglous and Schroeder, Water Quality. Addison-Wesley, 1985. 0-201-05433-7
  • David Chin, Water Resources Engineering (2nd). Pearson, 2006. 0-13-230519-4

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. apply computational, analytical, and interpretative tools to typical hydrological cases
  • LO2. apply conservation and management principles to water resources and uses
  • LO3. understand and apply management principles to water supply, reuse and disposal.
  • LO4. understand multiple processes responsible for water movement throughout the environment
  • LO5. calculate the characteristic rate of various hydrological processes
  • LO6. understand modelling procedures for hydrological processes
  • LO7. analyse and interpret in a qualitative and quantitative manner hydrological aspects in environmental engineering
  • LO8. understand the governing equations of hydrological processes
  • LO9. understand the role of boundaries and initial conditions in solving equations of flow
  • LO10. demonstrate critical understanding and interpretation to solve complex hydrological processes

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Learning outcomes and learning activities are mapped over the weekly schedule. The 13 week schedule has being reintroduced in 2021. COVID-19 situation may involve potential changes. Teaching material have been updated regularly from student feedbacks

Work, health and safety


All lecture and tutorials will be online.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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