F&ES 714b/ENAS 646b / 2019-2020

Environmental Hydrology

Credits: 3

Spring 2020: Tu,Th, 9:00-10:20, Kroon 319
 

 
Groundwater quenches the thirst of more than one third of the planet’s population. It also supports 40% of the world’s irrigated agriculture, while enabling production of numerous commodities that make us comfortable and content. Groundwater is in high demand and, in some places, we’ve taken too much causing streams to disappear, land to sink, and wells to run dry. Groundwater in other places has been ruined by pollutants that are dangerous side effects of mining, reckless agricultural practices, and unchecked industrial processes. Unless we begin to make better decisions, stresses on groundwater resources will worsen, ultimately to the detriment of human health, food security, and ecosystems.   
FES 714 introduces principles and approaches of hydrologic science requisite to informing the smart management of groundwater resources. The course is designed for MEM, MESc, and PhD students seeking to
(i) learn about processes governing the circulation, availability, and quality of groundwater;
(ii) apply hydrological models used by environmental professionals to evaluate groundwater resource issues;
(iii) gain familiarity with methods used to interpret data encountered in groundwater-oriented problems; and
(iv) sharpen analytical skills that have broad application to environmental science and management.
Hydrology is a quantitative science, so students enrolled in F&ES 714 should be comfortable with arithmetic and algebra and should have completed at least one semester of college calculus. Students will use hydrologic simulation models during this course and may, depending on the level of interest, learn to develop simple computer models themselves. But previous experience with hydrologic models or computer programming is not assumed or needed to succeed in F&ES 714.
There is very little content overlap between F&ES 714 and other F&ES courses, including Watershed Cycles and Processes (F&ES 724).