Environmental Water Quality (LWSC3005)


The unit of study will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the main water quality problems in Australia, related limnological issues and the underlying causes and processes. The unit builds on knowledge gained in LWSC2002, AGCH2003 and GEOG2321. The study program commences with a field trip module to the productive Macquarie and Namoi Valleys, where irrigated agriculture has been developed. Environmental impacts of agricultural enterprises such as irrigation farming and human settlements on water environments will be assessed. Field observations on pH, nutrient level, salt content, pesticide contamination, and microbial content in aquatic environments will be made with samples returned for more detailed laboratory analysis at the University. The unit will also investigate sources and dynamic of pollutants in receiving water, sediment-nutrient interaction and pollution control strategies. The unit will cover aspects of freshwater ecology with particular emphasis on wetlands ecosystem, riparian vegetation, phytoplankton communities and cyanobacteria.

Further unit of study information


2 lec/wk; 3hr lab for 7 weeks; 25hr fieldwork (in 1 wk only)


One 2 hr exam (40%), laboratory and practical reports (35%), field trip professional report (25%).

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

LWSC2002 or GEOG2321 or AGCH2003 or 6 credit points of intermediate Chemistry

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.