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ES 404: Environmental Hydrology (WS)

Course Title

Environmental Hydrology (WS)

Course Code

ES 404

Course Type




Year / Semester

 1st / 1st

Instructor’s Name

 Adriana Bruggeman (Lead Instructor), Hakan Djuma, Christos Zoumides



Lectures / week

 1 (3h)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

The course aims to provide: (1) knowledge on the global water balance and hydrologic cycle; (2) understanding of hydrologic processes; (3) knowledge of field and laboratory methods and equipment for quantifying hydrologic processes; (4) the capacity to apply equations to describe and model hydrologic processes; (5) understanding of water quality characteristics.

Learning Outcomes

 At the end of the course students should understand the distribution and movement of water around the globe, know how to measure and model hydrologic processes, be able to compute water and energy balances at plot, watershed and basin level. Students should have acquired knowledge on water quality aspects.




Course Content

  • The global water balance and hydrologic cycle
    • Introduction to hydrology
    • Water facts and figures
    • Quantification of global hydrologic processes
  • Precipitation
    • Precipitation processes
    • Measurement of precipitation
    • Spatial analysis and applications
    • Frequency analysis and applications
  • Interception
    • Interception and the water balance
    • Measuring interception
    • Modeling interception
  • Evapotranspiration
    • Evapotranspiration processes
    • The concept of reference evapotranspiration
    • Evapotranspiration measurements
  • Computing reference evapotranspiration
  • Computing actual evapotranspiration
  • Groundwater
    • Aquifer characteristics
    • Groundwater movement
    • Groundwater flow equations and systems
  • Soil water
    • Soil water relations
    • Soil physical properties
    • Infiltration and unsaturated flow equations
    • Measurement of soil water properties and processes
  • Stream flow
    • Sources and components of runoff
    • River channels and networks
    • Stream flow measurement
    • Stream flow variability
    • Floods
  • Water quality
    • Water quality characteristics
    • Water quality processes
  •  Hydrology in a changing world
    • Global drivers of change

Teaching Methodology

 Lectures, readings, field and lab practical, homework assignments.


 Robinson, M. and R. Ward. 2017. Hydrology, principles and processes. IWA Publishing, London.

Allen, R.G., Pereira, L.S., Raes, D., Smith, M., 1998. Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water requirements - FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 56. Rome, Italy.

Davie, T. 2008. Fundamentals of Hydrology, 2nd ed. Routledge, New York and London.

Bonan, G. 2019. Climate Change and Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling, Cambridge University Press.

Journal articles.


 Coursework and exam



Publications & Media