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 253



Dates Lecturer Topical Outline Guest Lecture
Aug 18-22 Radcliffe 1. Historical perspective on water use and development
Aug 25-29 Radcliffe 2. The hydrologic cycle, climate, and weather
Sep 3-5 Rasmussen 3. Surface water hydrology Skip - short week
Sep 8-12 Rasmussen 4. Groundwater hydrology
Sep 15-19 Radcliffe 5. Water quality
Sep 22-26 Radcliffe 6. Municipal and irrigation water development Exam 1
Sep 29-Oct 3 Rasmussen 7. Dams
Oct 6-10 Rasmussen 8. Water allocation law
Oct 13-17 Radcliffe 9. Federal agencies Guest Lecture (Wed)
10. Local, state, and multistate water management agencies
Oct 20-24 Rasmussen 11. Drinking water and wastewater treatment Exam 2
Oct 27-29 Radcliffe 12. Water, Fish, and Wildlife Skip - short week
Nov 3-7 Rasmussen 13. Economics of Water
Nov 10-14 Rasmussen 14. Water Use Conflicts
Nov 17-21 Radcliffe 15. Emerging Water Issues
Dec 1-9 YOU!! Student Presentations


Important Dates and Grading

  • Weekly quiz (10 pts each)
  • Term project and presentation (details below)
    • Oct 13 (Monday): Topic and one-page description (10 pts)
    • Nov 3 (Monday): Detailed outline and reference list (20 pts)
    • Dec 3-9: 10-minute oral presentation (20 pts)
    • Dec 9 (Tuesday): Final submission (50 pts)
  • Exams (open book)
    • Exam 1 (Chap 1-5): Fri, Sep 26 (100 pts)
    • Exam 2 (Chap 6-10): Fri, Nov 7 28 (100 pts)
    • Final (Chap 1-15): Fri, Dec 12, 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 a more in-depth knowledge on a water resources topic of interest to you and to develop your research, writing, and oral presentation skills
  • Topic: The topic is up to you. Pick something 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 single space with 12-point font. Use headings to subdivide the paper. Include figures, tables, and references, as appropriate.

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