Water Resources and Fluid Mechanics


This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of hydrology and hydrostatics and enables them to apply these principles to model problems relevant to water resources and civil engineering.


The aim of this Module is to provide a basic understanding of hydrostatics, and a knowledge of the various types of water resources and factors affecting their availability and quality.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of properties of fluids and describe and apply concepts of liquid flow behaviour.

2.  Understand, describe and apply principles of flow measurement techniques.

3.  Describe hydrologic principles and the sources and types of water and the factors affecting the quantity and quality of surface waters.

4.  Understand and apply concepts of hydrostatic pressure to problems on surfaces submerged in fluids.

Indicative Content

1 Hydrology

Review of the hydrological cycle. Fundamental principles of hydrology. Precipitation, occurrence and forms, estimation and measurements, rain gauges and methods of data handling. Evaporational influences and estimation methods.

2 Water Use and Quality

Demand, use and re-use of water. Sustainable water use. Human and environmental needs for water and water conservation. Introduction to water quality parameters; quality of various types and sources of water; factors affecting quality.

3 Water related disasters, and Sustainable Water Management

Floods and droughts - nature and causes. Sustainable water management, sustainable catchment management and sustainable drainage systems (SUDS).

4 Fluid Properties

Review of the properties of liquid fluids. Reynolds experiment; Reynolds number, mean velocity, discharge; description of types and patterns of flow; velocity gradients, laminar and turbulent motion, streamlines and flow nets.

5 Fluid Statics

Variation of pressure in a fluid; pressure measurements; pressure forces on surfaces; hydrostatic forces on plane and curved surfaces submerged in fluids; buoyancy forces; stability and metacentric height.

6 Fluid Dynamics

Continuity equations, conservation of mass, steady flow; Bernoulli equations: application to devices; the momentum equation.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

A module in which fundamental knowledge, theories and concepts are conveyed through a series of interactive lectures. Supporting tutorials provide the opportunity for students to apply and develop skills in calculation techniques including selecting appropriate data and incorporating this into formulae to provide solutions to given problems. Laboratory classes provide experimental evidence to support theory and also the opportunity for students, working in teams, to experience and participate in practical activities allowing them to appreciate the margins between theory and practice. A coursework assessed Field Trip facilitates the opportunity for direct experience in water related issues and this requires independent investigation to provide supporting material. An examination is used to test learning and understanding, and intellectual and transferable skills.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 30
Tutorial/Seminar 16
Supervised Practical Activity 8
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 55
Independent 91

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.