Water Resources (01:450:210)
Spring 2014
Short description:
Examines freshwater resources in the 21st century. Exploration of global water resources
from both physical and social science perspective, including water cycle, water
management, and water conflicts.
Similar courses:
01:460:204 The Water Planet (3) Characteristics of water: hydrologic cycle; runoff and
erosion; river systems; past and present climates. Environmental impact; resources of
water; political and economic aspects of water.
How this course is different:
01:460:204 focus on the entire global water hydrologic cycle, with a particular emphasis
on oceans, primarily from a physical science perspective. The course proposed here will
focus on both the physical science and governance challenges of freshwater with
particular emphasis on 21st century water challenges and conflicts.
Instructor: Prof. Asa K. Rennermalm
Office hours: TBA, Schedule via Sakai SignUp
Class Time: TBA, 2 x 80 minute long class meetings/week
Class Room: TBA
Expected Class Size: 50-80 students
Course Overview: One 21st century challenge is to provide clean and sufficient water for
human society. Global water resources are under growing pressure from population
growth, land use change, energy and industry needs. At the same time global climate
change is altering global water distribution such that some regions are becoming dryer,
others becoming wetter, and some regions experiencing more extreme droughts and/or
In this course we will examine the following question: How do we solve the 21st century
water challenge?
To understand the 21st century water challenge this course will examine both physical
and social aspects of water including: the water cycle, global water distribution, surface
and ground water hydrology, hydrology and global climate change, urban hydrology,
water resource development, water development for society (including industry, energy,
and agriculture), water laws, water management, drinking water and waste water
treatment, economics of water and virtual water, water use conflicts.
Throughout the course, students will write short essays based on the course topics and
how they relate to the 21st century water challenge. Before the end of the course, students
will write a longer final paper with their own perspective on 21st century water challenge
and possible solutions. These writings will form the basis for in-class discussions.
Course goals:
1. Students will learn basic physical science concepts about water resources and its
2. Student will develop their own perspective on 21st century water resources and
express this in through writing and class discussions
Course goal assessment:
Course goals 1 & 2 will be assessed through embedded assignments with rubric, which
will determine the degree to which students are able to critically engage with the course
material and formulate their own perspective on 21st century water challenges.
Course material may include selected readings from the following textbooks:
Principles of Water Resources: History, Development, Management, and Policy,
3rd edition, Thomas V. Cech. 576 pages, Wiley
Modern Hydrology and Sustainable Water Development. S.K Gupta. 464 pages,
Climate Change: What Science Tells us. Charles Fletcher. 265 pages, Wiley
Class Format: Class time will devoted to lectures and class discussions.
Final grade: The final grade will be consists of 100 points distributed as follows:
 Attendance, participation and quizzes in class: 15
 Assignments: 20
 Midterm 25
 Final exam 25
 Final essay 15
Grading scale follow Rutgers standard scale for undergraduate courses, no curve will be
Grade From To
Policy on make up exams: Make up exam is only possible for extraordinary
circumstances (bereavement, illness, official university business, jury duty, etc.).
Arrangement for makeup exams must be made in advance of the exam, and an absence
report has to be submitted with SAS self-reporting absence system
Policy on class participation and attendance: Active participation during class is
expected. Classes cannot be made up. Quizzes may be used to record class participation.
Extra credit: Extra credit opportunities may be announced throughout the semester
Accommodations for students with special needs: Students who, because of disability,
need accommodation for special needs should arrange this through the Office of
Disability Services for Students.
All students must be familiar to Rutgers wide policy on academic integrity