CRSS(WASR) 1020 - Introduction to Water Resources

Course Summary

  • Introduction to the science and policy related to managing fresh water resources. Fundamentals of hydrologic processes, the importance of water to human society, how the United States manages water, and the environmental impacts of water use.

Course Objectives

  • Establishing the importance of water resources in both human and ecologic terms, including knowledge of: a) the uses of water resources to meet human needs; b) the role of water resources management to protect environmental systems; c) the laws and agencies that currently regulate and manage water resources; and d) the historical and modern conflicts that have arisen due to water scarcity.
  • Establishing the scientific basis for managing water resources, including knowledge related to: a) the quantification of water resources measurements, including volumes, fluxes, concentrations, and loads; b) the occurrence and movement of components of the hydrologic cycle, including precipitation, surface, and ground water; and c) the components of water quality, including the physical, chemical, and biological aspects.

Time and Location

  • MWF 9:05 - 9:55; Miller Learning Center, Room 367




University Honor Code

  • All students shall adhere to UGA's Student Honor Code: "I will be academically honest in all of my academic work and will not tolerate academic dishonesty of others"
  • A Culture of Honesty -- UGA's policy and procedures for handling cases of suspected dishonesty -- can be found at

Important Dates and Grading

  • Weekly quiz (10 pts each)
  • Group presentations (details below)
    • Sep 30 (Friday): A dam of your choice
  • Term project and presentation (details below)
    • Oct 10 (Monday): Topic and one-page description (10 pts)
    • Nov 7 (Monday): Detailed outline and reference list (20 pts)
    • Nov 28 - Dec 5: 10-minute student presentation (20 pts)
    • Dec 7 (Wednesday): Final submission (50 pts)
  • Exams (open book and notes)
    • Exam 1 (Chap 1-5): Fri, Sep 23 (100 pts)
    • Exam 2 (Chap 6-10): Fri, Oct 21 (100 pts)
    • Final (Chap 1-15): Wed, Dec 7, 8-11 am (150 pts)
  • Grading: A > 93 > A- > 90 > B+ > 87 > B > 83 > B- > 80 > C+ > 77 > C > 73 > C- > 70 > D > 60 > F
  • Makeup: None without advance notice.

Term Project and Presentation

  • Purpose: To develop an in-depth knowledge on a water resources topic of interest to you. Also, to develop your research, writing, and oral presentation skills.
  • Topic: The topic is up to you - pick a water-resources topic you are interested in and want to know more about. It should be narrow enough that you can treat the subject in depth, but not so narrow that you cannot find several references. Almost every chapter is a source for topics. We expect you to read outside sources (books, articles, information from the web) and use these to develop your topic. If you are having trouble picking a topic, speak to one of the instructors or guest lecturers.
  • Type of Paper: We will accept three types of papers:
    • A summary of several articles and book chapters on a hydrology topic
    • A detailed book report (suggested reading materials)
    • A field project where measurements are made using instruments from our labs.
  • Length and Format: The paper should be more than six pages in length, typed at 1.5 space with 11-point font. Use headings to subdivide the paper. Include figures, tables, and references, as appropriate. Additional guidelines for report writing can be found here
Dates Topic Lecturer Events
Aug 11-19 1. Historical perspective on water use and development Radcliffe Field trip - North Oconee River Greenway
Aug 22-26 2. The hydrologic cycle, climate, and weather Radcliffe Guest lecture - David Radcliffe (Australia)
Aug 29 - Sep 2 3. Surface water hydrology Rasmussen Field trip - Tanyard Branch
Sep 5-9 4. Groundwater hydrology Rasmussen Short week - Labor Day holiday on Monday
Sep 12-16 5. Water quality Radcliffe Guest lecture - Chuck Hopkinson (Coastal Water Quality)
Sep 19-23 6. Municipal and irrigation water development Radcliffe Exam 1 - Chapters 1-5
Sep 26-30 7. Dams Rasmussen Group presentations - Your Dam
Oct 3-7 8. Water allocation law Rasmussen Guest lecture - Gwyneth Moody (Georgia's Water Trails)
Oct 10-14 9. Federal agencies Radcliffe Field trip - ACC Drinking Water Treatment Facility
10. Local, state, and multistate water management agencies
Oct 17-21 11. Drinking water and wastewater treatment Rasmussen Exam 2 - Chapters 6-10
Oct 24-28 12. Water, Fish, and Wildlife Radcliffe Short week - Fall Break on Friday
Oct 31 - Nov 4 13. Economics of Water Rasmussen Field Trip - ACC Wastewater Reclamation Facility
Nov 7-11 14. Water Use Conflicts Radcliffe Guest lecture - Pam Knox (Georgia Climate)
Nov 14-18 15. Emerging Water Issues Rasmussen Guest lecture - Marilyn Hall (Water Conservation)
Nov 28 - Dec 5 Student Presentations YOU!!