Tutorials of Sustainable Design of Water Resources Systems - 2018

The course on Sustainable Design of Water Resources System is included in the study plan of the master degree programs in Civil Engineering (curriculum Infrastructure Design in River Basins) and Earth Resources Engineering at the University of Bologna. The course will be taught during 48 hours of frontal teaching, including lectures given by the teacher and exercises developed by collaborative work by students and the teacher.

The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of modern techniques for estimating design variables for water resources systems in the presence of human impact. Systems considered during the course will be natural and artificial river networks and water supply systems. Design variables that will be considered here are those quantifying water resources availability in natural and human impacted river networks, peak flow, and design hydrograph. The course will focus on rainfall-runoff modeling as a tool to assess river flow regime and human impact in ungauged basins; the impact of climate change will be discussed as well as techniques for increasing the resilience of water resources systems.

Interactive learning

The teacher will make extensive use of interaction with the students to stimulate interest for the topic and the development of personal ideas. Interactive activities will be optional. If the students opt for them, they will contribute to the final evaluation.

Interactive activities will consist of:

  • Integration and further development of the tutorials distributed by the teacher. Tutorials will be made available through a Google drive, students will have the opportunity to make comments and changes to the text. The documents resulting from the interaction between students and the teacher will be published on the web page of the teacher.
  • Preparing a discussion on specific optional topics. Students will be suggested to collect additional information on a selected subject, by eventually reading scientific papers suggested by the teacher, and will be asked to present a short Powerpoint presentation (10-15 minutes) during the lectures.
  • Preparing a Wikipedia entry, in English, related to sustainability, hydrology and water resources management.
  • Preparing a 10-minute question&answer session "Challenge the teacher".
  • Additional activities possibly suggested by the students.

Students that participate to the interacting activities will be asked to prepare a brief summary of their work. The teacher will give to the students the option to evaluate their interacting activities as part of their final exam. This is an opportunity to make the evaluation of the student a continuous and interactive process along the semester. For more details on interactive activities see here.

Tutorial documents

The tutorials for the course will be delivered in the form of open web pages, open media and freely accessible videos of all the lectures, for the sake of developing academic education through fully open information.

Tutorial web pages for the lectures (the list will be updated as soon as lectures are given):

Tutorial web pages for the practical exercises (the list will be updated as soon as lectures are given):

Videos of the lectures

The videos of the lectures are available at the link below:
Playlist of Sustainable Design of Water Resources Systems
Videos will be made available within one week after the lecture.

Calendar of the lectures

Lectures will be given on Monday (9-11) and Tuesday (11-13) in Via del Risorgimento 2, in the so called "historical building". The 48 hours of lectures will be taught entirely by me. The calendar of the lectures is given here below. Please note that changes may occur. Any variation will be communicated by the teacher to the students one week earlier at the latest. Moreover, I would like to agree with the students some extra lectures in order to end the lectures around the mid of May.

  • Feb 26, 2 hours
  • Feb 27, 2 hours
  • March 6, 2 hours
  • March 12, 2 hours
  • March 13, 2 hours
  • March 19, 2 hours
  • March 20, 2 hours
  • March 26, 2 hours
  • March 27, 2 hours
  • April 16, 2 hours
  • April 17, 2 hours
  • April 23, 2 hours
  • April 24, 2 hours
  • May 7, 2 hours
  • May 8, 2 hours
  • May 14, 2 hours
  • May 15, 2 hours
  • May 21, 2 hours
  • May 22, 2 hours
  • May 28, 2 hours
  • May 29, 2 hours
  • June 4, 2 hours
  • June 5, 2 hours
  • June 6, 2 hours

There will be a field trip to be planned, which will presumably take place in May. Students will be promptly informed.

Teacher will dedicate some lectures (about 8 hours) to developing exercises with the personal computer. These lectures will take place on Tuesday. Students will be kindly asked to bring their notebook and to work in the same room as for normal lectures. Students will be told one week in advance when the personal computer is required.

Attendance to lectures and exercises is not required. Questions may be asked during the exam regarding the exercises only if students will agree. Therefore, students not attending the exercises will not have their evaluation at the exam affected in any way.


Learning outcome will be assessed through an oral examination, whose schedule will be agreed with the students one month in advance. The exam typically lasts for about 20-30 minutes and is articulated through 3-4 questions. The first question may require to be partially addressed with a written reply and simple calculation, that will be subsequently discussed with the teacher. The first question may require a longer reply and will be used to assess the ability of the students to deliver a clear and well articulated presentation (this question could be addressed with an interactive activity). The other questions will be dealt with within a shorter time. The student will be given the option to include interactive activities as part of the exam; in this case the duration of the oral examination may be shorter. Questions are exclusively related to the topics that are taught during the lectures and are described in the supporting documents. The teacher may ask questions not directly related to what has been discussed during the lecture in order to assess outstanding capabilities of the student to integrate the notions delivered by the teacher. This type of question may only be used to increase the mark of the exam and will not have any detrimental effect on the evaluation.

The highest score (30/30) is reserved to students who demonstrate a full knowledge of the notions, a very good ability to address questions through an efficient synthesis, and a very good presentation. The laude is reserved to students who demonstrate exceptional motivation and integrate the course content with additional notions by following their personal interest and attitude.

The teacher is available for a first pre-exam as soon as the lecture are finished. 3 official exam dates will be scheduled from the official closure of lecture until the end of July. Exam dates will be fixed in agreement with the students by the first week of April.

Contact details of the teacher and individual clarifications

The teacher is available to provide clarifications on request, by receiving individual students or groups. The office of the teacher is located at the Direzione of the Department DICAM, ground floor, Via del Risorgimento. The entrance is from the internal courtyard looking towards Via Vallescura. Teacher can be contacted by email.