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CEG8526 : Hydrosystems Modelling and Management

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elizabeth Lewis
  • Lecturer: Professor Chris Kilsby, Professor Hayley Fowler, Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Mr Vassilis Glenis
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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, hydraulic models of rivers and infrastructure systems, stochastic rainfall models, and broader systems-based approaches. Essential tools and methods are presented to address problems of model calibration, testing, and uncertainty. Advanced hydroinformatic skills are developed, from use of python programming for data and model management, to application of software products currently used in the water industry. Case studies address use of modelling for practical problems of water management in catchments and cities under pressures including climate change.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introductions to modelling concepts and procedures, including calibration, validation, uncertainty, optimization
•       Model types, selection, and limitations
•       Use of python for data preparation and model
* Time-series rainfall models
* Catchment rainfall-runoff model
* 1D river hydrodynamic modelling
* Introduction to global and regional climate models, and use of outputs with hydrological models for impact assessments
* Review of a range of modelling types used in the water industry, including models for water resources, urban water systems, groundwater, flood risk assessment
* Use of scenarios with model for decision making

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 (PiP)
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 (Online Synchronous alternative)
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.

Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances.
Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M30Modelling Exercise, using programming to set up and apply a simple hydrological model (1 written exercise, approx. 6 pages)
Oral Examination1M20Review of industry software for a specified problem, group work (oral presentation)
Written exercise1M50Application of existing hydrological model software (1 written exercise, approx. 12 pages)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The model building study assesses skills developed in the module in a programming language (python) and fundamental modelling techniques for construction and use of new model software. The group exercise (oral) is aimed at broadening awareness and understanding of software available in the water industry, for application to a range of types of problems; the use of group work enables review and assessment of a broader range of information than is possible in an individual study, and supports generic group working experience. The case study involves deepening of modelling skills through application of existing modelling software (Shetran) to an individual case study catchment, and use of nationally available data on hydrology and climate change, applied to a realistic case study. In combination, these 3 coursework items assess the student’s fundamental knowledge of modelling, awareness of the use of industry standard software, and consolidation of these together in their own case study application.

Reading Lists