ENGRCEE 173 Watershed Modeling (2016-2017)

ENGRCEE 173 Watershed Modeling

(Not required for any major. Selected Elective for CE, EnE and ME.)
Catalog Data:

ENGRCEE 173 Watershed Modeling (Credit Units: 4) Basic principles of hydrologic modeling are practiced. Concepts of watershed delineation, land use change impact, design studies, and GIS tools are discussed. Focus on the USACE (HEC) software tools (HEC-HMS, and HEC-RAS) along with their associated GIS interfaces. Prerequisite: CEE176 and CEE170. Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering majors have first consideration for enrollment. Concurrent with ENGRCEE 273. (Design units: 1)

Required Textbook:
Recommended Textbook:

Course material provided as needed, depending on the topics selected for discussion in class.

Amir AghaKouchak
Relationship to Student Outcomes
No student outcomes specified.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:

1. Complete a watershed hydrologic study for flood control system, hydraulic structures design/modification, and/or land use planning.

2. Understand how to obtain, process, and use hydrologic data from various sources including satellite-based information.

3. Become proficient with standard hydrologic modeling software tools and be able to evaluate various design alternatives using such software.

4. Use Geographic Information System to process spatial data to 1) delineate watershed boundary, 2) identify channel network, 3) designate modeling elements, 4) identify values of model parameters.

5. Learn how to determine appropriate hydrologic methods to calculate infiltration, interception, overland flow routing, and channel routing based on the availability of information and the watershed characteristics.

Prerequisites by Topic

Understanding of fluid mechanics, open channel flow, and surface water hydrology, and basic understanding of probability theory and familiarity with computer software.

Lecture Topics:
  • Review of the hydrologic processes
  • Watershed Modeling: Theoretical Background
  • Hydrologic Calculations using HEC-HMS
  • GIS and watershed model configuration
  • Water Surface Profile Analysis: Theoretical Background
  • HEC-RAS Model, Bridges, Culverts, and Floodway Channel Improvement Studies
  • Overview of other Public Domain Hydrologic Calculation Tools (EPA-SWMM, EPA-Net)
  • Project
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of discussion each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:

This course involves extensive usage of computers. Students must complete homework using both manual calculation and computer software. Homework will be designed for both stand-alone and GIS enabled model components. Students will have options to use public domain GIS to conduct watershed characterization. Otherwise, 50% of each project work must be completed in the lab due to software licensing issues.

Laboratory Projects:
Professional Component

Contributes toward the Civil Engineering Major design experience and engineering topics courses, and Environmental Engineering Major design experience and engineering topics courses.

Design Content Description

The homework and tests are designed to train the students to think about a variety of hydrologic modeling problems utilizing knowledge of various event-based processes. In the first class project assignment, students conduct a complete watershed modeling study, which requires the selection of various model configuration options including the number of sub-basins, the methods of loss calculation, flow routing. Each case study must represent a design problem such as dam safety, urbanization, identification of design flood, and the impact of land use change of flood magnitudes. .

Lectures: 100%
Laboratory Portion: 0%
Grading Criteria:
  • Homework: 25%
  • Project Team Component: 20%
  • Project Individual Component: 15%
  • Class participation/Quizzes: 15%
  • Final Exam: 15%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 4.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 3.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 1.0 credit units

July 12, 2016
Senate Approved:
January 8, 2013
Approved Effective:
2013 Fall Qtr