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, AGEN 1002, and SOIL2003 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 field excursions to parts of NSW. During the field excursions, 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

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Further unit of study information


Lec 2hr/wk; practical: 3hr/wk; field work: 25hr/wk (for 1 wk only)


One 2hr exam (50%), laboratory and practical reports (15%), field trip report (35%).


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.

Practical work

1 week field trip

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

Assumed knowledge: SOIL2003 and [(AFNR1001 and AFNR1002) or ENSY1001 or (AGEN1001 and AGEN1002)] and (BIOM1001 or ENVX1001).

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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.

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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.

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