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WAT2202 Catchment and Water Resources Management

Semester 2, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


The effective management of Australia’s freshwater systems requires an understanding of how physical, chemical and biotic patterns and processes interact across spatial and temporal scales and an analysis of planning issues, policies, and methods, associated with water resource use. The hydrological, biogeochemical, geomorphological and ecological processes and their interactions for sustainable system design from catchments to rivers, wetlands and springs (groundwater) are also important for effective management. The course is of value to students wishing to pursue careers as water scientists, environmental scientists, engineers, field biologists, agricultural scientists, natural resource managers and professional ecologists.

This course explores water and nutrient processes in the catchment to provide an understanding of the relationships between catchment health, water quality and ecosystem functions. Students should be able to explain the major threats to water quality and the ways to monitor and manage those threats through the monitoring of physical, chemical and biological parameters and through the preparation of water quality assessment plans.

This course contains a Highly Recommended residential school at the Toowoomba campus for both external and on-campus students in the form of a two-day excursion to sites within the Toowoomba/Darling Downs region.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. describe the relationships between catchment health and water quality and identify the major threats to instream water quality and the effects of pollutants on ecosystem health;
  2. explain the important physico-chemical and biological indicators of water quality and their application;
  3. critically review the land and water processes that support Australia’s inland systems;
  4. critically evaluate studies of catchment processes and surface water/groundwater interactions;
  5. integrate physical and biophysical data with socio-economic data for integrated resource management.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Review of catchment and water resources in Australia and globally 10.00
2. Hydrology and nutrient budget in catchment 15.00
3. Soil erosion and sediment processes and budget at hillslope and catchment 15.00
4. Nutrient cycle and water quality 10.00
5. Key threatening processes to Australia’s aquatic systems 10.00
6. Catchment spatial data analysis 10.00
7. Catchment management 15.00
8. Socio-economic considerations in designing catchment management plan 5.00
9. Managing extreme events in catchment i.e., flood & drought 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz No 20 1,2,3,4
Assignments Written Essay No 20 1,2,3,4,5
Assignments Written Report No 30 1,2,3,5
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 30 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 17 May 2022