CEME 7410 - Water Resource Systems for Changing Climates

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

Designing large-scale water supply systems or local-scale urban stormwater systems requires excellent knowledge of hydrology and climate science, water quality, statistics and risk estimation, and a diversity of catchment modelling tools. This course will develop the fundamental understanding as well as the engineering design tools and principles to design the water supply and drainage infrastructure needed to meet the demands of an increasing population and changing climate over the 21st century. Topics will be covered from the following: (1) water sensitive urban design approaches to managing urban stormwater quantity and quality; (2) reservoir modelling, including continuous rainfall-runoff modelling, yield assessments and water demand estimation; (3) climate change impact assessments; (4) stochastic generation of rainfall time series; and (5) environmental flow requirements.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CEME 7410
    Course Water Resource Systems for Changing Climates
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge CEME 7304
    Assessment Online quizzes and design projects
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Thyer

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Explain the key principles of various stormwater treatment measures and apply the stormwater treatment train to a real-world design problem
    2 Apply a computer modelling package (MUSIC) to evaluate stormwater treatment measures to improve stormwater quality
    3 Select, justify and apply one or several methods for estimating catchment-average rainfall, evapotranspiration and runoff
    4 Develop and calibrate one or several rainfall-runoff models, under both historical climate and future climate change settings
    5 Differentiate between alternative methods for estimating municipal water demand, and use one or several selected methods to estimate water demand 
    6 Apply a computer modelling package (Source) to simulate reservoir behaviour, and elect and justify possible reservoir design decisions that meet water demand while minimising cost and environmental impacts
    7 Describe the theoretical basis and need for stochastic methods in reservoir design, and apply a stochastic model to a real-world design project
    8 Write a high-quality professional engineering reports

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.2   1.5   2.1   2.3   3.2   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Learning Units
    The required resources for this course are organised into a series of “Learning Units” available on MyUni. Each learning unit covers a key concepts, its theory/fundamental principles and techniques that are relevant to a particular phase of the course. Each learning consists of online lecture(s), slide handouts, course notes and references.
    Recommended Resources
    In each learning unit, a range of relevant references (journal papers, websites etc) will be made available to provide additional information for students to extend their knowledge
    Online Learning
    This course makes extensive use of online learning in the form of online lectures for presenting key concepts, Online Quizzes for formative assessment of key concepts and also online discussion boards to discuss application of key concepts to real-world engineering design problems.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course utilises a blended learning approach, consisting of a combination of interactive online activities and face-to-face design sessions.

    Certain weeks during semester the design sessions will be dedicated to the tutorials (to learn the industry-standard software package), while other times the design sessions will be used to work on the design project. The timing of these sessions will be provided on the MyUni site.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In line with University guidelines, it is expected that, typically, students spend 12.5 hours per week on this course.

    In addition to the face-to-face design sessions (4 hours/week), students are expected to spend an additional 8.5 hours per week undertaking the learning units (viewing online videos/reviewing course notes/completing online quizzes) or undertaking design projects.

    A guide will provided on myUni outlining which are specific learning units/design projects are the priorities in each week of the semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course consists of a set of integrated learning activities designed to motivate you to achieve the course learning outcomes in a supportive context. These consist of Learning Units, Online Quizzes, Tutorials, a Design Project and Design Sessions.

    Course Phases
    The centrepiece of the course is a design project which consists of a number of phases, varying from 2 to 6 weeks duration.
    Design Phase 1, Intro. to Stochastic Models and Yield Assessment: Provides an introduction to the concepts of using stochastic models to estimate drought risk and determine the yield of reservoir for a simplified design problem.
    Design Phase 2, Water Resource System Design: Undertake the design of more realistic reservoir system, with added complexity including such as reservoir operating rules, future climates and demand, multiple scenarios and water sources.
    Design Phase 3, Water Sensitive Urban Design: Undertake a real-world design of problem of an urban subdivision by applying WSUD principles to manage stormwater quantity and quality.
    (Each phase is also aligned with specific course learning outcomes - see 'Assessment Summary' Below)

    Learning Units and Online Quizzes
    Each phase consists of a series of learning units where you learn the key concepts/theory/fundamental principles and a design project. The learning units consistent of series of online lectures, and resources to provide you with introduction to the key learning concepts. The online quizzes are designed to test your knowledge of the key concepts from each learning units

    These are designed for the students to learn how to use the industry-standard software modelling packages that are used in the course. There are generally completed in the design sessions, so the students can ask questions about the packages. There are step-by-step instructions with plenty of guidance on how to complete the tutorials.

    Design Project and Design Sessions
    Each phase consists of a design project that provides you with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the key learning concepts applying it in a realistic and practical context. During each phase, there will be weekly design sessions, where the students and teaching staff will have the opportunity to discuss the approach to tackling the design project. These design sessions are key learning tool are it is essential that students attend.

    It is essential that students participate and engage with all learning activities to achieve learning outcomes of this course
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Learning outcomes
    Quizzes (online) 2 Individual Formative Weeks 1-10 1,2,3,4,5.
    Tutorials 3 Individual Formative  Weeks 5,8  3,5.
    Design Project Phase 1:  Intro to Stochastic Models and Yield Assessment 15 Individual Formative/Summative Week 3 1,2
    Design Project Phase 2: Water Resource System Design 30 Group Formative/Summative Week 7 1,2,3
    Design Project Phase 3: Water Sensitive Urban Design 50 Individual Formative/Summative Week 13 4,5
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni. Dates are subject to change
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Criteria
    All assessment is criterion-based (i.e. everybody who meets certain criteria will receive a certain mark, irrespective of the number of students in the class who achieve this standard) and detailed assessment criteria in form of marking rubrics are provided for all assessment tasks. It is important that students review the rubrics throughout the course to ensure they are clear on the requirements of the assessment tasks. The assessment criteria for the assessment tasks in this course are based on the University’s general grade descriptors, It should be noted that according to the grade descriptors, a deep understanding of the subject matter beyond the core material is required in order to obtain Distinctions and High Distinctions and a Credit is generally awarded if everything is done “correctly” and “by the book”.

    This course includes assessment tasks undertaken within groups. These groups are self-selected. The same mark will be allocated to all group members and will be based on group output only. Group processes are not assessed explicitly in this course. To maintain the integrity of the assessment task(s) there is a requirement that all students within a group contribute to each assessment activity. Where there is evidence that group members have not sufficiently contributed to a group assessment task, the Academic Honesty policy may be applied
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment tasks have been developed to ensure that all course learning objectives are being assessed. The assessment tasks represent a mix of assessment types in order to maximise opportunities for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material in relation to the learning objectives. There is also a mixture of individual and group activities, as well as formative and summative assessment tasks, in an attempt to maximise learning outcomes because group activities and formative tasks encourage interaction and discussion between students and between students and staff.

    Online Quizzes
    These are primarily formative in nature and are designed to provide students with the opportunity to test their knowledge and understanding of key concepts , principles and theory presented in the learning units with the added advantage of instant feedback. These are to be completed individually.


    These are primarily formative in nature, straight-forward to follow and are designed to developed students skills and enhance their confidence in using the industry standard software packages that are crucial for the design projects. There are to be completed individually

    Design Projects

    These are more open ended and are motivated by practical engineering design problems. They require a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts and principles and build on the knowledge gained through completion of the learning units. While these projects are summative in the sense that the mark for the final report counts towards a significant portion of the final course mark, the process of completing the tasks will result in significant learning and has therefore some formative elements to it. Some of these phases are completed individually, while some are in groups.

    Multiple forms of feedback will provided in this course. For online quizzes details will be provided in relation to where and how many marks have been lost (marked on the submissions).
    For the design project, where detailed assessment criteria have been provided, detailed feedback will be given for each individual student as to how they achieved these criteria so that students will have an understanding of where they did well and where they need to improved.
    Informal, yet valuable feedback will also be provided in the weekly design sessions throughout the course.
    Further details about the assessment tasks, including due dates and specific assessment criteria will be made available on the MyUni site for the course.
    The submission time for all assessment tasks will be provided on MyUni. All written submissions should be submitted online via the Assessment section of the MyUni course site. Submissions should follow the guidelines as provided on MyUni.

    Extensions are granted on medical, compassionate or other special circumstances recognised under the University’s Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy. The completed extension application form and any documentation (such as a medical or counsellor's certification, etc) should be emailed to the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment due date.

    Late submissions
    Late submission will only be accepted for the Design Project (not the online quizzes/tutorials). However, there will be a loss of 10% of the marks obtained if the submission is less than 24 hours late, 20% if the submission is between 24 and 48 hours late and so on.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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