Provision of adequate, safe and appealing water supplies for urban and rural communities has long been a key role for civil engineers. Similarly the need for sustainable and increased food supplies to meet the needs of a growing global population is well established, and civil engineers again play a major role in achieving this by designing and constructing irrigation and land drainage systems. Accordingly, this unit of study aims to give students a basic understanding, problem solving and design skills in the areas of water supply and irrigation / drainage engineering. Key topics include: Urban Water Supply Schemes: Demand assessment and management, supply sources, dam types/spillways/outlet works/construction and safety issues, groundwater development works, water quality requirements and various types of treatment to satisfy these, service storage, pumping stations, reticulation system arrangements/layout and manual/computer analysis, pipeline design and construction. Irrigation and drainage: Purpose and principles of irrigation, irrigation water quality, channel design and structures, flood, furrow, sprinkler and trickle irrigation layout and design principles, need for, principles and design of appropriate land drainage systems.

Unit details

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Unit code:


NEC2203 - Hydraulics

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse typical levels of demand in terms of both quantity and quality for urban water supply and irrigation schemes, and the factors which influence them;  
  2. Analyse, describe, locate information, solve relevant numerical problems, and carry out basic design of key elements for water source development schemes including dams, groundwater bores, pump stations, transfer conduits and service storages;  
  3. Analyse and explain key water quality parameters and supply standards, and describe, solve relevant numerical problems, and carry out design of key elements for basic water treatment plants;  
  4. Determine appropriate elements and layouts of town water reticulation systems, and design basic systems using manual and computer methods;  
  5. Analyse, describe, solve relevant numerical problems, determine layouts and carry out basic design of key elements in irrigation and drainage schemes including supply channels, flood, sprinkler and drip systems, and both surface and subsurface drainage systems; and  
  6. Work effectively as a member and/or leader of a small team and demonstrate good communication skills, based on technical reports and team discussion.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Short -answer Design questions 15%
Project Group Design Projects x 2 (2,500 words plus figures/tables) 40%
Test MCQ Tests x 2 (30mins each) 20%
Exercise Short-answer Design questions 25%
The Design Projects focus upon the individual student's ability to demonstrate his or her in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline and apply established engineering methods to complex engineering problems, as defined in Engineers Australia competencies 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2 and 3.5.). Students must complete assessments for all learning outcomes in order to pass this unit.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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