Water is critical to develop and maintain life on the earth. The hydrological cycle provides water resources for human activities and natural ecosystems. In some situations it can lead to hazards (e.g., flooding) and degrade water quality (dryland salinity), particularly with anthropogenic disturbance and global climate change. This topic covers fundamental knowledge of water distribution on the earth, and all the main hydrological pathways from the atmosphere to land and to oceans. It provides the basic skills necessary to quantify the distribution and movement of water on and beneath the earth's surface. Water quality is also briefly discussed. The topic provides fundamental knowledge for more advanced hydrological topics and other water-related environmental topics.
This topic aims to introduce the principles of hydrology, to improve the student's understanding of the hydrological processes and their ability to address actual water resources and water related environmental issues.