Introductory Hydrology (LWSC2002)


This unit introduces students to hydrology and water management in the context of Australian integrated catchment management. It particularly focuses on the water balances, rainfall runoff modeling, analysis and prediction of streamflow and environmental flows, water quality and sustainable practices in water management. Through theoretical work and case studies, the students will engage with problems related water quantity and quality in Australia and the world. The unit builds on knowledge gained in AGEN 1001 and AGEN 1002, and establishes the foundation for later units in the hydrology and water area. The unit provides one of the essential building blocks for a career related to water management and hydrology. The unit consists of two parts; the first part will involve a series of lectures, tutorials, practical exercises and case studies. The second part of the unit consists of a field excursion to regional NSW. During the field excursions, which are aligned with the ENVX3001 unit in the AVCC week, students will engage with current water problems and engage in basic hydrometric and water quality data collection. The data will be used later to analyse catchment condition and water quantity issues.
After completion of this unit, you should be able to:
Explain the different processes in the hydrological cycle
Measure and interpret hydrometric and basic water quality data
Elucidate the processes involved in generation of streamflow from rainfall.
Distinguish the link between water quantity and water quality and its implications for water management.
Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the unique nature of Australian Hydrology

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lec 2hr/wk; practical: 3hr/wk; field work: 25hr/wk (for 3 days only)


1x 2 hr exam (50%), laboratory and practical reports (3x10%), field trip report (20%).


Ladson (2007) Hydrology an Australian Introduction. Oxford University press. Chapters 1 - 6, Gordon, N. D., McMahon, T. A., Finlayson, B. L., Gippel, C. J., and Nathan, R. J. (2004) Stream hydrology: an introduction for ecologists, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


6cp from (ENVI1003, AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.