Water: Source of life, running perpetually, transforming itself from phase to phase closely and unbreakably connected with our very existence, the quality of life, the culture and our civilization. We are borrowing natural resources and the water in particular, from our children and descendants. It is our duty to deeply and thoroughly understand them, their origin and functioning in such a way as to manage them with utmost respect and wisdom. Nutritional needs of mankind are excessively increasing. Natural resources of our planet are not unlimited. First priority of the Water Resources Division is to provide our undergraduate students with a multifaceted, thorough and penetrating knowledge together with high level technical skills in all scientific and technological aspects, where water is the principal factor. Water, an invaluable substance and cornerstone of civilization emergency and development in ancient times, nowadays presents a visible threat of international conflicts and wars. Irrigated agriculture appears to be the playground where a diversity of sciences (Physicochemical biological, social, economical, environmental etc.) should operate constructively in such a way as to promote the sustainable achievement of optimum production on a permanent basis with respect to the Nature and the Environment.
Scope and Vision
The Sector of Water Resources and the Lab of Agricultural Hydraulics provides a balanced program of study in surface and groundwater hydrology, agricultural hydraulics, soil physics, water resources management, and environmental engineering. Such emphasis involves the study of both the quantity and quality of the earth’s water resources and their inter-relationships with the environment. The Division prepares students to face complex hydrologic issues related to water supply, irrigation, drainage, wastewater and water quality, flood control, water resources management, crop water requirements and other environmental problems. Computer models, geographic information systems, expert systems, decision support systems, and multimedia computing environments are used extensively in the teaching and research conducted by faculty and students.
Mathematics and, in particular, Applied Mathematics consist a basic tool when dealing with scientific problems arising in the subject areas of the Division of Water Resources and in the Department’s in general. The Lab of Mathematics and Theoretical Engineering provides the necessary knowledge to students in order to understand some fundamental notions of mathematics. Practical and physical problems are modeled throught mathematics and are solved. Linear Algebra (especially Matrices), Calculus, Differential Equations (Ordinary or Partial), Complex analysis play an essential role in understanding courses which are taught in our Department such as Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics, Soil Physics and Thermodynamics.
The Division carries out basic and applied research in hydrologic and water resources sciences and engineering including surface, soil, and groundwater hydrology, land surface-atmosphere interactions, and their engineering, environmental, economic, and social applications to water resources. In more detail:
The emphasis in Agricultural Hydraulics focuses in field and laboratory studies to develop understanding of the basic processes concerning irrigation and drainage engineering, irrigated agriculture, irrigation scheduling and plant response and improved irrigation practices, design and operation of irrigation systems at farm level, and automation of irrigation systems. . Furthermore, evapotranspiration, soil-plant-atmosphere interactions are also being addressed.
The emphasis in Surface and Groundwater Hydrology includes the analysis and modeling of hydrological processes such as precipitation, stream flow, and surface water storage at various temporal and spatial scales, land-surface atmosphere interactions, modeling of groundwater flow, analysis and modeling of hydro-geological processes, environmental hydrology, watershed and river basin modeling, statistical/stochastic hydrology and conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water.
The emphasis in Soil Physics includes the dynamics of soil moisture processes, the experimental determination of hydraulic properties of soils and analysis of their spatial and temporal variability, heat transport, soil aeration, analysis and modeling of multiphase flow through porous media, infiltration, soil moisture redistribution, solute and contaminant transport in the unsaturated and saturated zones, water quality and hydrochemistry, soil and water conservation and environmental protection.
The emphasis in Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering includes flow in open and closed conduits, fluid mechanics, the application of physical, stochastic, and systems computing engineering techniques for forecasting of precipitation, streamflow, reservoir levels, and groundwater levels and flow measuring devices, design of surface and groundwater reservoir systems, and design of surface and subsurface hydrologic gauging network systems.
The emphasis in Collective Irrigation and Drainage networks-Flood Protection works includes, design, operation, maintenance and exploitation of gravity and pressure irrigation networks, and drainage systems. Design, construction, operation, management of flood protection works. Erosion processes and mitigation. Management and rehabilitation of reclamation works (rehabilitation demands and criteria, networks modelling methods, economic and technical investigation, socio-economic and environmental impacts of rehabilitation).
The emphasis in Water Resources Planning and Management provides the linkage among hydrology, hydraulics, and environmental engineering, with interdisciplinary aproach in economics, water law, social and natural science, computer tools, and decision making. These tools are applied to complex multiple objective problems requiring coordinated planning and management, operation and maintenance of water infrastructure, risk and uncertainty analysis in water and environmental systems, estimation and mitigation of extreme events such as floods and droughts, hydropower and wastewater management.