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CEG8526 : Hydrosystems Modelling and Management

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephen Blenkinsop
  • Lecturer: Professor Hayley Fowler
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims are to:
•Introduce different types of modelling approaches used to represent and manage natural catchment and river systems and water infrastructure.
•Develop understanding of methods and skills used in modelling.
•Apply different modelling approaches to practical problems relevant to the water industry.

The module introduces the background to different types of modelling used to represent both natural hydrological systems and water resources infrastructure. Different modelling concepts and approaches are described, from relatively simple lumped models through to complex physically based models for catchments,stochastic rainfall models, and broader systems-based approaches. Essential tools and methods are presented to address problems of model calibration, validation, and uncertainty. Advanced hydroinformatic skills are developed, including use of programming for data and model management. Case studies address use of modelling for practical problems of water management under pressures including climate change.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will be introduced to modelling concepts and procedures, including calibration, validation, uncertainty and optimization. Data and model preparation will be examined using appropriate tools (e.g. python). Students will examine different types of models which may include catchment rainfall-runoff models, 1D river hydrodynamic models and time series rainfall models, as well as model selection and limitations. Students will learn the key features and properties of global climate models and different methods for downscaling their outputs to finer scales, and how their outputs may be used with hydrological models to assess the effects of climate change. The use of scenarios with models for decision-making will be examined. A range of model types used in the water industry for different applications (potentially including water resources, urban water systems, groundwater, flood risk) will be introduced.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1100:00100:00Coursework preparation (cumulative total for 3 assignments)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical31:003:00Computer practical
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities241:0024:00Videos, slides, quizzes for independent learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Group tutorial workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Group tutorial workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study165:0065:00Background reading and study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Introduction to module and python programming activity. In person
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The basic qualitative and quantitative understanding represented by the knowledge outcomes is imparted via a mix of formal teaching, practicals and tutorial sessions with active student participation. The tutorial sessions provide an opportunity for students to improve their grasp of the subject, to question the lecturer and to practice the analytical and solution techniques. Three coursework assignments provide opportunity for development and demonstration of fundamental skills and application of the acquired knowledge.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M35Modelling exercise, for example using programming to set up and apply a simple hydrological model or similar (1 written exercise, approx. 6 pages)
Written exercise1M65Application of existing hydrological model software (1 written exercise, approx. 12 pages)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer assessment assesses the ability to set up and assess a hydrological model using a range of techniques (knowledge outcomes 1 and 2) and to select, apply and appraise different models and modelling techniques (skills outcomes 1-4). The written exercise assesses the ability to critically apply a range of appropriate models and modelling techniques (knowledge outcomes 2 and 3) and to compare different techniques and tools in a problem-solving context related to hydrology (skills outcomes 2-5).

Reading Lists