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Sustainable Water Resources Systems (CVEN90019)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCVEN90019
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject aims to analyse the key concepts underpinning the sustainable use of water within the context of integrated river basin management. Lectures draw on extensive experience in water and river basin management, particularly in Australia and China including guest lecturers from industry practitioners. The subject focuses on the analysis of complex water resource systems that involve multiple sources of water supply and multiple water uses including agriculture, urban, industrial, recreation and the environment. The subject builds on students’ knowledge of sustainability, economics and resource management.

While the principles of resource management are learnt in the context of water and river basins, they can be applied in a range of natural resource management scenarios. Students contemplating a career in any aspect of natural resource management will find this subject of value.


Topics include:

  • Water resource governance and planning
  • Water supply
  • Wastewater and drainage
  • Integrated water resources management - river catchments and basins
  • Environmental water demands
  • Water resource economics
  • Principles of water resource modelling: optimisation and simulation
  • Various systems of allocating water between multiple supplies and demands
  • Water accounting in time and space
  • The balance between economic and environmental uses of water
  • Water information services
  • River basin management
  • Fishways and river restoration.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Describe river basin management as a complex system of interactions between the diversity of disciplinary knowledge
  2. Identify and describe the physical elements of a water resource system and its interactions
  3. Identify and describe the principles of allocation between different uses under conditions of scarcity
  4. Describe the actions designed to balance economic development with the ecological and social wellbeing in a river basin
  5. Describe and apply the concept of integrated water resources management
  6. Identify the economic, environmental and social factors involved in the sustainable development and management of water resources.

Generic skills

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Understanding of social, cultural, global, and environmental responsibilities and the need to employ principles of sustainable development
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member.

Last updated: 22 August 2019