Module details for 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.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 30
Tutorial/Seminar 16
Practical Activity 8
Assessment 55
Independent 91
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.