ENCN442-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Integrated Surface Water and Groundwater Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Dynamics and management of surface water and groundwater systems including modelling of water demand, surface processes, recharge, abstraction and integration of water infrastructure.

Integrated Surface Water and Groundwater Engineering is a final year elective course on water engineering in the undergraduate curriculum for civil and natural resources engineering students. A basic understanding of water systems is quite important in the study of surface and groundwater flows and for this reason ENCN342 is a prerequisite for this course.

The increasing demand for water resources challenges our ability to understand and describe the underlying hydrologic processes. Water resources problems are seldom isolated, and their solution requires sophisticated numerical approaches to management that must address different, often conflicting, demands for water. Problems could include flood protection, conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater resources, and optimizing water distribution in a pipe network. This course introduces you to the tools you will need to conceptualize and solve complex water problems.

Surface water engineering
Increasingly, water resources are being managed on a catchment basis. Sustainable catchment management relies on robust understanding of: rainfall-runoff processes across the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum; how variability in catchment characteristics can influence rates and volumes of runoff; the relationship between flow and surface/groundwater water level at any location; and the effect of infrastructure on surface water flows. The development of appropriate catchment management solutions is also dependent on the ability to correctly evaluate the impact of different options. Furthermore, the growing focus on climate change has provoked increased need to understand the complex feedback between the climate, landuse, and the hydrologic cycle. This part of the course will deepen and expand the knowledge and skills gained in the previous parts of the surface water hydrology curriculum so that student will be able to work on a wider spectrum of hydrological engineering problems in an integrated manner. This includes both modelling of surface water processes and design of surface water infrastructure (e.g., earth channel design, culverts, drop structures).

Groundwater engineering
By virtue of their underground nature, groundwater systems are largely unobserved except where they breach surfaces (streams, springs, seepage) or are intersected by wells. Therefore, an ability to infer, extrapolate, abstract and model based on limited observations is essential to the sustainable use of these resources. This section of the course will introduce you to conceptual and numerical modelling of the whole groundwater system, including concepts of recharge and discharge, and safe-yield, abstraction, drawdown. The goal is for you to be able to develop models that can predict future aquifer response to water allocation decisions. Advanced topics including the unsaturated zone, groundwater quality, and surface water interactions will also be covered.

Pipe network engineering
Network design concerns itself with the delivery of water where it is needed, at the required rate, and with enough redundancy to manage peak demand and safety constraints. At the micro-scale, pumping water through a single pipe is a complex problem that depends on friction, energy, pipe geometry, and fluid physics. At the macro-scale, networks must connect multiple inlet sources, user outlets, storage and treatment. This section of the course will challenge you to think about pipe networks as both a design and optimization problem.

Learning Outcomes

1 Select and perform appropriate analytical calculations to address management and/or design aspects of a water resources problem.  (Washington Accord WA1), (UC EIE, GA)

2 Implement representations of water resource processes in a numerical model, with a specific application in pipe networks, groundwater aquifers, and/or surface water systems. (Washington Accord WA2, WA5), (UC EIE)

3 Recommend water resource management activities using analytical calculations or a numerical model as part of the evidence base and consistent with relevant standards or regulations. Washington Accord WA3, WA6, WA7), (UC EIE, BCC, CE)

The learning objectives align with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 16:00 - 18:00 Jack Erskine 101
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 Rehua 528
13 May - 2 Jun
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 08:00 - 10:00 Ernest Rutherford 464 Computer Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 Jack Erskine 443
13 May - 2 Jun

Examinations, Quizzes and Formal Tests

Test A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 19:00 - 21:00 Rehua 102
25 Mar - 31 Mar

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Markus Pahlow


David Dempsey , Derek Li and Tom Cochrane


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Groundwater 10% Learning Objective: 1, 2, 3
Pipe Networks 15% Learning Objective: 1, 2, 3
Surface Water Infrastructure Design 10% Learning Objective: 1, 3
Surface water modelling 15% Learning Objective: 1, 2, 3
final exam 25% Learning Objective: 1, 3
Mid term test 25% Learning Objective: 1, 3

The assessment for this paper comprises several design reports (assignments), a mid-semester test and the final exam.

Assignment reports

There are four of these to be completed, one each for the surface water modelling (15%), groundwater (10%), pipe networks (15%) and surface water infrastructure design (10%) sections. They are an opportunity to apply the practical modelling and design skills you have developed during the lectures and tutorials to a specific case study.

In addition to providing a description of the modelling activities, you will also have to submit any files developed with the various software packages used in this course as supporting evidence. Software package file submissions should be documented appropriately including commenting and a brief readme describing contents and proper operation.

Special Consideration for Assignments
An extension will be granted for evidence-supported requests. Extensions will typically be for up to one week, but the duration will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking an extension must contact the course coordinator as soon as possible with evidence of their situation, and preferably before the due date. An extension will generally not be granted over the study week period.

Special Consideration for Midterm Test and Final Exam
Students will be offered an equivalent alternative midterm test/exam, for evidence-supported requests. This exam will be generally held within a week after the scheduled examination. The alternative midterm test/exam will be of the same form as the original assessment.

Note: All communication associated with the arrangement of equivalent alternative tests/exams will be conducted using official UC email accounts and LEARN. The offer to sit an alternative assessment will also provide the date/time when the alternative assessment takes place. Students will have a clearly specified amount of time to respond to the offer to sit the alternative assessment and to accept/decline. If the offer is declined or no response is received in the specified time frame, the original assessment mark will be used to compute the course grade.

Textbooks / Resources

This course does not have a required text and instead provides notes and other resources on LEARN. Furthermore, additional material will be posted on the class LEARN site as recommended reading/viewing. Please note that all lecture recordings, made available through LEARN, are copyright and are not for public dissemination.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,059.00

International fee $6,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering .

All ENCN442 Occurrences

  • ENCN442-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024