The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Water is the most important resource in the world. The importance of a safe water supply and effective sanitation systems are paramount to maintaining public health standards in both developed and developing countries. With increasing population pressures and industrial and agricultural development, the prevention of water pollution and the management of water resources are increasingly important everywhere. Large-scale, centralised supply and distribution and treatment systems (including dams, reservoirs, pipe networks and treatment plants) have evolved to satisfy increasing water demand in many parts of the world. However, many of these centralised systems are struggling to meet water demand from an ever increasing population in an unpredictable climate.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Trimester 1 - 2020.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the natural water cycle and the impacts on the natural water cycle from increased population and development; and identify the major contemporary issues facing water resource management in Australia.

2. Describe and evaluate the efficiency of different water systems with focus on water supply, wastewater and stormwater management issues.

3. Explain the key principles of Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) and identify and develop improved water system options for future use.

4. Differentiate water quality found in a range of water systems and interpret threshold values using water quality guidelines.

5. Evaluate and summarise Water Reform in Australia and develop an understanding for sustainable water management.

6. Apply systems thinking to key water management challenges by creating your own catchment using an online learning tool

7. Apply theoretical methodologies to examine and evaluate water system planning and management in urban and agricultural landscapes.


Topics will include:

  • Changes in patterns and processes of the natural water cycle due to human development
  • Water sources and management in the urban and agrilcultural landscape
  • Principles of Intergrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) using water supply, stormwater and wastewater systems
  • Water quality, water pollution and contaminant sources
  • Contemporary issues impacting water management in Australia
  • Water reform, legislation and policy in Australia
  • Managing water resources in Australia and developing solutions for sustainable water use
  • Case studies and further readings

Assumed knowledge

Completion of an appropriate undergraduate degree.

Assessment items

Participation: Completion of online modules

Online Learning Activity: Online learning tool: Catchment Detox

Report: Written Report