• Class Number 2838
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Sara Beavis
    • Dr Sara Beavis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Mahealani Delaney
    • Meredith Hope
SELT Survey Results

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of issues and methods in water resources management, and is set especially within the framework of total, or integrated, catchment management. The course gives an introduction to the unique hydrology of Australia, major issues of water resource management, the implications of past water management practices, the principles of integrated catchment management and sustainability, and current management tools and strategies.

Topics will include: the components of the hydrological cycle; impacts of land and water management on water quantity and quality; water demand and allocation among users, including the environment; the institutional and policy aspects of Water Resource Management (WRM); onground strategies of WRM; and integrated modelling of water and land resources. The course emphasises the interdisciplinarity of water resource management and examines integrated assessment, which is a method that seeks to solve water management problems by investigating the physical, economic, social and institutional components of a problem. Water ethics is a key theme that underpins and links many components of the course.

Honours Pathway Option

Subject to the approval of the course convenor, students taking this option will be expected to complete experiential learning activities that build leadership skills and support higher level engagement across the water sector. This can include discussions with key decision makers/researchers, chairing and being the secretariat at meetings, or leading discussion in-class or online with water sector specialists.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand the complex interplay between people, climate, land, water and economic development in water resource management in Australia;
  2. explain how the changing balance over time in water availability, demand for water and value of water informs (and has been informed by) the history of development, institutional arrangements, policy and management;
  3. demonstrate familiarity with a range of water resource management issues, including origins, impacts and management interventions in both rural and urban settings;
  4. integrate information from a range of disciplines into a comprehensive picture of a water resource management issue;
  5. appreciate the relationship between raw data and the interpretation(s) that stem from it, and how a lack of knowledge or uncertain knowledge influences resource management decision-making;
  6. consider and use a range of methods for tackling water resource management problems.

Research-Led Teaching

The research activities of the course convenor, a number of guest lecturers, as well as researchers and practitioners supporting the Water Ethics Moot complement and underpin this course. Students will be working with real case studies in the Water Ethics Moot and will be undertaking primary and secondary research, for the research report assignment .

Field Trips

Please see the College of Science - Field Trip page for more information.

Additional Course Costs

There are no extra costs for students.

Examination Material or equipment

Open book

Required Resources

No special resources are required.

There are no required reference materials for this course. Readings will be posted on Wattle each week, and students are encouraged to search the literature for relevant papers and reference material.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on assignments;
  • Written and verbal comments on group presentations;
  • Verbal feedback to the whole class on group activities and on assignments;
  • Additional, individual feedback on request.
  • Feedback for the Water Ethics Moot will be provided from the course convenor, tutor, external assessors and class peers.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Students should refer to the Wattle site for current delivery information for the course this semester.
Lecture A: Introduction: the water resource base and its development Lecture B: Water supply, use and values Workshop: Introduction to workshops
2 Lecture A: Water ethicsLecture B: Water and GenderWorkshop: Water ethics Water Ethics case studies released and group research commences
3 Lecture A: Indigenous waterLecture B: River regulation and IrrigationWorkshop: Interrogating the Ord
4 Lecture A: ASS Lecture B: Mining and waterWorkshop: Conceptual site modelling
5 Lecture A: Water and COVIDLecture B: Water Management in the PacificWorkshop: Water Ethics Moot preparation Water Ethics annotated bibliography due Thursday 22nd March (10%)
6 Lecture A: Environmental waterLecture B: Water sharing and the MDB BasinWorkshop: Water sharing in the MDB Basin
7 Lecture A: Urban water and sustainabilityLecture B: Peri-urbanisationWorkshop: Ethics Moot Ethics Moot (30%)
8 Lecture A: Water management and ecologyLecture B: Stakeholder engagementWorkshop: No class due to ANZAC DAY Public Holiday
9 Lecture A: Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)Lecture B: Catchment AssessmentWorkshop: Unpacking IWRM in an interrupted case study scenario Research paper on indigenous water (2000 words). To be submitted electronically via Turnitin. Due Monday 29th April (20%)Quiz 3.33% Due 3rd May
10 Lecture A: Global issues: Contaminated watersLecture B: Global issues: Water management for human healthWorkshop: Water management for human health Quiz 3.33% Due 10th May
11 Lecture A: Global issues: transboundary waterLecture B: Global issues: water conflicts and diplomacyWorkshop: Water diplomacy and negotiation Quiz 3.33% Due 17th May
12 Lecture A: Ecohydrology and humanitarian engineeringLecture B: Preparing for New FuturesWorkshop: Revision

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Water Ethics Moot 40 % * 1,2,3,4,5,6
Indigenous water 20 % 29/04/2024 1,2,4
Quizzes 10 % * 1,2,3,4,6
Examination 30 % * 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Water Ethics Moot

The Water Ethics Moot is a two staged task that is planned to help you to understand the key role that ethics plays in water management, planning and decision making. These stages include (i) initial research, reflected in your the annotated bibliography of key relevant references, and (ii) real time compilation of a document presenting a specific stakeholder perspective of your selected case study. By becoming aware of the ethical underpinnings to water management you will start to see its relevance across the various themes of the course and help inform your own thinking into the future. By either tackling a specific case study where ethics plays a key role in water management, or, by accessing class-mates’ Moot deliverables, you will have the opportunity to reflect on and analyse the complexity that underpins any water management issue. 


Students will be allocated a group by a randomized process in Week 2, and the case studies will be released in class and online via Wattle.  The case study will comprise a summary document and some reference materials to get you started. Individually, and as a group, you should collaboratively research the case study by (i) clearly identifying the core issue, (ii) identifying key stakeholders, their interests and potential biases, and then concentrating on the stakeholder group you have been assigned, and (iii) noting the salient ethical principles at play with particular reference to your stakeholder group. Time will be allocated at each of the Workshops for your group to work together researching your topic, sharing knowledge and ideas. During this 3 week period you should also be identifying and collating research materials relevant to the case and using this to write up your own annotated bibliography.  


For the Moot itself, your task is to research your team’s case study and, taking a specific stakeholder’s position (which will be allocated to you in Week 2), create a document that presents your response to a question, and that is designed to convince the recipient (for example a Government authority, Senate Enquiry, Environmental hearing or Human Rights Commission investigation) of why your position and interests should be prioritized. The writing of this document in real time is the Moot. During the time limited Moot (2 hours) you will need to be part of a small, supportive team and base your arguments on research that you have engaged in over the previous weeks. You will need to identify the key ethical principles at play and how a satisfactory solution to the case study can be formulated by taking these principles into consideration. On completion of the Moot, teams can debrief and raise/answer questions.

Assessment (i) 

Creating an annotated bibliography can help you in developing a strategic approach to reviewing available literature. For the Water Ethics Moot it is expected that you should be able to access quite a lot of relevant literature, but amongst all that you find, select FOUR (4) pieces of literature relevant to your Moot case study, or the issue surrounding it, including peer reviewed literature or government, industry or NGO reports.

Value: 10%

Due date: 2024-3-22

Estimated return date: two weeks after submission

Rubric: Please refer to the course outline on Wattle

Assessment (ii)

The moot will commence at the beginning of the workshop in Week 7 with the release of your question located at the top of your group’s open document. All participants must have their Wattle page open so that you can see the link to your own forum within the Assessment tile. At the prescribed time, you will see below this your group’s open document become available. At the top of the page in this document, the question you must answer will be clearly marked. You have now started countdown, for the next two hours, during which time your team must be organized to answer the question , concisely, succinctly and creatively. 


After two hours sharp, the document will close, regardless of your stage of completion. 


A possible format (please feel free to devise your own approach):

  1. Introduce your approach and format (optional);
  2. Explain which stakeholder group you are assessing and its interests in the case study;
  3. Address the question from your stakeholder’s perspective, referring to the relevant key ethical principles;
  4. Make sure you end with a strong concluding set of statements.
  5. Include names of each team member and their contribution to the document


Be creative with the presentation of the document in terms of letterheads, logos, watermarks etc. Try to make the document clearly something generated by the stakeholder you represent.

Time limit: two hours response/writing time; two hours to receive questions, and an extra two hours to respond.

Penalties: 10% group penalty if you submit your written document late.

Value: 30%

Due date: 2024-4-18

Estimated return date: Feedback provided within two weeks

Rubric: Please refer to the course outline on Wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 29/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Indigenous water

Indigenous water rights have been a long ignored, or highly compartmentalised, facet of water management across Australia and overseas. What are the key concepts that underpin these rights? Using either Australia or New Zealand as a case study, critically assess the current status of Indigenous water rights noting key barriers and incentives to progress. 

Recommended length: ~ 2000 words

Value: 20%

Due date: 2024-4-29

Estimated return date: Feedback provided within two weeks

Rubric: Please refer to the course outline on Wattle

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6


Three short online quizzes are linked to the Workshops in Weeks 9, 10 and 11. A series of questions relate to the issues covered in these workshops.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6


The exam is open book during the formal examination period and will therefore be timetabled accordingly. Depending on conditions, it will either be the usual formal exam format, or, taken online. In either case, the exam will be time limited. The exam paper will comprise three (3) parts that reflect the three themes of the course (contexts of water use, contemporary issues of water management and moving into the future: the ‘how to’ of water management). Only three (3) questions need to be answered, one from each section of the paper. Because the exam will be two hours long, the answers are expected to be ~ 2-3 pages long, and can be illustrated with diagrams.  

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure.

The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request it in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback on assignments is provided within Turnitin, and results are posted up on the Wattle grade sheet.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re-submission of assignments is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Sara Beavis
+61 2 6125 8138

Research Interests

Impacts of climate and land use (including agriculture, mining, forestry and peri-urbanisation) on catchment hydrology and water and sediment quality.

Dr Sara Beavis

Monday By Appointment
Tuesday By Appointment
Wednesday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Sara Beavis

Research Interests

Dr Sara Beavis

Monday By Appointment
Tuesday By Appointment
Wednesday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment
By Appointment
Mahealani Delaney
+61 2 6125 8138

Research Interests

Impacts of climate and land use (including agriculture, mining, forestry and peri-urbanisation) on catchment hydrology and water and sediment quality.

Mahealani Delaney

By Appointment
Meredith Hope

Research Interests

Meredith Hope

By Appointment

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