WATR401-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

Advanced Water Resources

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


Freshwater resource definition, characterisation, use, and impacts of exploitation and their management or mitigation. Topics will include; perspectives/values (including cultural) associated with water bodies, anthropogenic stresses and their effects on resources, key aquatic and ecosystems processes, methods of characterisation and impact assessment, hazards, NZ legislative frameworks relating to water and environmental resource, and catchment management approaches. Will include a compulsory one-day fieldtrip.

The aim of this course is to provide graduates, who already have particular academic skills, with an overview of the knowledge required for effective management of water resources in NZ.

It serves two purposes;

•  Advanced consideration of fundamental concepts of  water  resource management such that students can understand and accommodate aspects of water resource management in their chosen career

•  A core component, and the first course taken, of the PG Diploma/Master of Water Resources, giving all graduates entering the programme, from a variety of backgrounds, an understanding of  the fundamental concepts of water resource management.

This course is run jointly with Lincoln University. Lectures are run from each University in alternating years (this is a physical location difference to balance it between the two Universities).

In 2022 this course will be held at the University of Canterbury. A full day Sunday field trip is also part of the course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to;

  • Describe and explain why freshwater resources and their ecosystems are vulnerable, and discuss the critical factors in resource exploitation and longevity.

  • Identify how water resources, and their limits, are quantified

  • Recognise the relevance of specialist skills (e.g., in aspects of science, engineering, planning) in the resolution of freshwater resources management issues.

  • Discuss the importance of  field measurements, monitoring programmes, and data treatment and its use in resource assessment  

  • Analyse how conflicts arise in resource use, and approach and communicate water resource issues constructively and without bias

  • Assess those aspects of NZ environmental law that are most relevant to freshwater management, and how these can be applied (or not) to ensure sustainable use of water resources.  

  • Contribute effectively to an interdisciplinary team working on water resource issues

  • Communicate concepts effectively and usefully to a range of audiences


(1) Entry is subject to approval by the Programme Director (2)BSc, BE(Hons), BEMP (LU) or equivalent qualification or experience in a field of relevance in water resource management

Timetable Note

This course is run jointly with Lincoln University. In 2022 the course will be held at the University of Canterbury.  Make sure you check the LEARN site prior to the first class to check for updated news.

A full day field trip is also included.

Course Coordinator

Leanne Morgan

Contact Person

Helen Warburton


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
internal assessment 60%
Final exam 40%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no available textbook covering the range of topics to be offered in WATR401.  However, there are a variety of excellent textbooks on the nature of freshwater resources and their management in the university library.

A course reader is provided with key articles and any additional readings will also be provided via the LEARN(moodle) website.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,084.00

* 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 School of Earth and Environment .

All WATR401 Occurrences

  • WATR401-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022