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ES3D5-15 Water Engineering for Civil Engineers

School of Engineering
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Soroush Abolfathi
Credit value
Module duration
25 weeks
30% coursework, 70% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

ES3D5-15 Water Engineering for Civil Engineers

Module web page

Module aims

Knowledge of water engineering is essential for good practice of civil and environmental engineering. This module provides background material on open channel hydraulics and engineering hydrology that serve as a sound base for other relevant civil and environmental modules and for future professional practice. The module will enable students to understand the principles of free surface flows and engineering hydrology applied to civil engineering problems.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Open Channel Hydraulics

  • Review of hydrostatics, pipe flow and Bernoulli equation
  • Laminar and turbulent flow in open channels
  • Laminar flow analysis
  • Principles of uniform flow
  • Development of friction equations - magnitude of friction coefficients
  • Channels with distorted cross-sections & “Best form” cross-sections
  • Development of energy concepts & specific energy
  • Critical flow considerations
  • Applications of the energy principle
  • Measurement structures and dilution gauging
  • Development of conservation of momentum principle
  • Specific force considerations
  • Analysis of hydraulic jump
  • Gradually varied flow equation & classification of gradually varied flow profiles
  • Methods for the calculation of gradually varied flow profiles
  • Location of hydraulic jump
  • Introduction to commercial numerical software

Engineering Hydrology

  • The hydrological cycle
  • Precipitation, initial losses, infiltration, percolation, evapotranspiration, surface runoff, groundwater flow
  • Rainfall types and spatial variability of rainfall (UK)
  • Rainfall. Intensity - duration - frequency (return period) analysis
  • The Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH)
  • Design storm rainfall. Uniform intensity and FEH rainfall profiles
  • River flow analysis
  • The unit hydrograph
  • FEH techniques to estimate runoff from catchment characteristics; impacts of urbanisation
  • Reservoir routing
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • explain the principles controlling open channel flows
  • summarise the differences between flow types
  • analyse free surface flow problems using friction, energy and momentum considerations
  • predict rainfall and runoff characteristics for UK catchments
Indicative reading list

(1) Chadwick, A.J. & Morfett, J.C. Borthwick M. Hydraulics in Civil and Environmental Engineering (5th Edition) Spon 2013
(2) Chanson, H. The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow Arnold (2nd Edition) 2004
(3) Douglas, J.F., Gasiorek, J.M., Swaffield, J.A. & Jack L., Fluid Mechanics (6th Edition) Wiley 2011
(4) Shaw E.M., Beven K.J., Chappell N.A. & Lamb R., Hydrology in Practice, Spon 2010

Subject specific skills
  1. Ability to conceive, make and realise a component, product, system or process
  2. Ability to develop economically viable and ethically sound sustainable solutions
  3. Ability to be pragmatic, taking a systematic approach and the logical and practical steps necessary for, often complex, concepts to become reality
  4. Ability to seek to achieve sustainable solutions to problems and have strategies for being creative and innovative
  5. Ability to be risk, cost and value-conscious, and aware of their ethical, social, cultural, environmental, health and safety, and wider professional engineering responsibilities
Transferable skills
  1. Numeracy: apply mathematical and computational methods to communicate parameters, model and optimize solutions
  2. Apply problem solving skills, information retrieval, and the effective use of general IT facilities
  3. Communicate (written and oral; to technical and non-technical audiences) and work with others
  4. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including time management, which may be as a team member or leader
  5. Awareness of the nature of business and enterprise in the creation of economic and social value
  6. Overcome difficulties by employing skills, knowledge and understanding in a flexible manner
  7. Ability to formulate and operate within appropriate codes of conduct, when faced with an ethical issue
  8. Appreciation of the global dimensions of engineering, commerce and communication

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 30 sessions of 1 hour (20%)
Tutorials 13 sessions of 1 hour (9%)
Demonstrations 1 session of 2 hours (1%)
Private study 105 hours (70%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

105 hrs of guided independent learning


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group D4
Weighting Study time
Hydrology Design Exercise 30%


Online Examination 70%


~Platforms - AEP,QMP

  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
  • Students may use a calculator
  • Engineering Data Book 8th Edition
  • Graph paper
Feedback on assessment

Oral feedback (as group and one-to-one if requested) in dedicated session and marked script

Past exam papers for ES3D5

Post-requisite modules

If you pass this module, you can take:

  • ES4B6-15 Global Water and Sanitation Technologies


This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-H216 BEng Civil Engineering
  • Year 4 of UESA-H215 BEng Civil Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • Year 3 of UESA-H217 MEng Civil Engineering
  • Year 4 of UESA-H218 MEng Civil Engineering with Intercalated Year

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-H218 MEng Civil Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • Year 3 of UESA-H115 MEng Engineering with Intercalated Year

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-H113 BEng Engineering
  • Year 3 of UESA-H114 MEng Engineering
  • Year 4 of UESA-H115 MEng Engineering with Intercalated Year

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 4 of UESA-H111 BEng Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • UESA-H112 BSc Engineering
    • Year 3 of H112 Engineering
    • Year 3 of H112 Engineering