HWM-24306 Environmental Hydraulics


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work4
Course coordinator(s)TH van Emmerik
Lecturer(s)MJ Zander
TH van Emmerik
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. R Uijlenhoet

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

AEW-23802 Water 2;
BIP-10306 Introductory Physics; HWM-10303 Water 1;
HWM-23306 Field Practical Hydrology, Meteorology and Water Quality;
SLM-20806 Water Quantity and Quality.

Continuation courses:

HWM-23806 Geophysical Fluid Mechanics;
HWM-30306 River Flow and Morphology;
HWM-33306 Hydrology and Geology of Deltas.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with HWM-21806 Hydraulics and Hydrometry.The course provides basic knowledge of hydraulics for application in quantitative water management (e.g. design of rivers, flood protection measures and hydraulic structures). By concentrating on a detailed explanation of the laws of conservation of mass, momentum and energy, the course aims at providing the student a clear understanding of steady water flow through conduits, rivers and canals.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- dalculate hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressures and resulting forces on structures;
- calculate water level and flow velocity in uniform open channels;
- calculate surface level profiles for gradually varying non-uniform flow (backwater curve, draw down curve), with the aim to know the consequences of measures in currents and streams;
- calculate energy losses in closed pipe systems using friction coefficients and loss coefficients;
- measure hydraulic variables in the laboratory and apply theory to the observations;
- design a water course (planform, cross-section and structures) for a case from current water management practice, analyse data from a numerical model and evaluate uncertainties and assumptions;
- execute a project, including setting up a work plan, time planning, presentation and report writing.


The course consists of 3 parts:
1. Hydraulic theory: In the course reader, proofs, derivations, theory and worked examples are given in full, but using simple mathematical notation and an ample amount of clarifying text. The following topics are covered: hydrostatics, measurement of pressure, flow and discharge, flow through pipelines, uniform and non-uniform open channel flow and steady flow around hydraulic structures.
2. Laboratory experiments: Students perform experiments in the Kraijenhoff-van de Leur Laboratory for Water and Sediment Transport using different types of flumes, conduits and measurement equipment to understand the hydraulic theory.
3. Design assignment: Students apply the newly acquired knowledge in a case inspired by current water management practice. For example, students could make a plan to restore a canalised brook and design and compute a planform and cross-section leading to appropriate water levels, accounting for discharge variability, aquatic vegetation and hydraulic structures. Computations will be made with a hydraulic model and the output will be analysed in R. Students also learn to plan and execute a project with time restrictions, discuss assumptions and uncertainties in their approach, present their findings, and write a short report.


Written examination (50%) and written report of design project (50%).


Lecture notes and practical manual (available at the WUR-shop); scientific papers.

Restricted Optional for: BSWSoil, Water, AtmosphereBSc1AF