Unit description

This unit is designed to introduce you to many of the issues associated with the management of the water resource with a major focus on issues that arise in the management of both rural and urban water catchments. In the overall context of the degree course that you are doing, the unit draws on the sciences of hydrology, climatology, chemistry, biology, aquatic ecology and soil processes.

Unit content

Module 1 - water and the rural catchment

The management of rivers and their catchments. The following four level model of the catchment is used:

  • the catchment reduced to its bio-physical components
  • hydrology, chemistry and biology - the assessment and management of yield and water quality
  • the catchment as a mechanical device consisting of connected biophysical components
  • linkages between biophysical factors like land-use, stream condition, yield and water quality.

The systems approach

  • the catchment as a complex adaptive system - working with uncertainty
  • the communicative catchment - social, economic and political considerations
  • Total catchment management and the resolution of resource conflict.

Module 2 - the urban water cycle

The three major issues associated with the urban water cycle, supply, wastewater and stormwater are discussed separately and in the context of recent attempts to create infrastructures which strive for efficiency via processes of integration and source control. Topics covered include:

  • issues of supply and demand
  • surface and ground water as sources for supply
  • tanks, dams and reservoirs as storage devices
  • pumps, pipes, and aquifers
  • irrigation and drainage as approaches to managing soil moisture.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (10 weeks)
Practical session 3 hours (10 weeks)
Practical skills12%
Exam: closed book40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.