ESM 121: Water Science and Management

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ESM-121 Water Science and Management (CRN 43460 and 43461) is a class that teaches fundamental methods of water resources management, contemporary water resources problems, and tools for water resources planning and management. The course is divided into three sections: (1) theory, (2) practice through useful and quantitative exercises, and (3) real world experience, 1 hour per week each. In the real world experience section; guest speakers come to the classroom (such as water managers, practitioners, decision makers and experts from multiple disciplines), give a lecture and share their vision and challenges on water resources management.

Topics in this course include:
   - Fundamental concepts of hydrology (hydrology 101)
   - History of water in California
   - Integrated water resources management (IRWM)
   - Conservation of mass (continuity equation) and water budgets
   - Water resources modeling: simulation and optimization model
   - Cost-Benefit Analysis
   - Surface water and groundwater storage management
   - Environmental water management
   - Risk analysis
   - Climate Change

As the instructor of this class, Dr. Samuel Sandoval Solis designed this class based on three pillars for integral education in water resources management: (1) theoretical fundaments of hydrology and water resources management, (2) tools to apply the theory, and (3) meaningful real world experience. By the end of the class, students are expected to have a thorough conceptual and quantitative understanding of water resources management. Students are expected to have the understanding on how to develop a water plan.


- Hanak, E., Lund, J., Dinar, A., Gray, B., Howitt, R., Mount, J., Moyle, P., Thompson, B. (2011). Managing California's Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation. Public Policy Institute of California. San Francisco, California.
- Harter, T., Lund, J. (2012). Addressing Nitrate in California's Drinking Water with a Focus on Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley Groundwater. Executive Report. Center for Watershed Sciences. University of California, Davis. Davis, California. 
- California Department of Water Resources (2015). Groundwater Sustainability Program: Strategic Plan. Sacramento, California.
- Postel, S., and Richter, B., (2003) River's for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature. Island Press. (You need to buy this book)

Extra Materials

- Exercise Submission template
- Templates for Term project Abstract/Idea, Midterm Report and Final Report
- Study Guide: Midterm and Final Exam


Date Session Due Date
Introduction to Water Resources Management
Mon 2 Apr Introduction to ESM-121 (Syllabus)  
Wed 4 Apr

Water in California & Introduction to WRPM &  (Presentation)

Thu 5 Apr

Field Work at Howard Field (near Quad Parking Structure)

Hydrology 101 
Mon 9 Apr

Ex. 1: Population and water demand (DataTutorialVideo)

Wed 11 Apr

Hydrology 101 (PresentationHandout)

 Ex 1
Thu 12 Apr Field Work at Howard Field (near Quad Parking Structure)  
Sat 14 Apr Field Trip. Hopland Research and Extension Center  
Sun 15 Apr Field Trip. Hopland Research and Extension Center  
Water Budgets & Water Resources Modeling
Mon 16 Apr

Ex. 2: Wat. Demand, Wat. Conserv. & Efficiency (DataTutorial, Video: Part 1 & Part 2

Wed 18 Apr Water Budgets (Handout & Video) & Water Resources Modeling (Presentation, Handout and Water Rights)  Ex 2
Thu 19 Apr Ex. 3: Water Budget (Data, Tutorial) & Term Project  
Water Resources Modeling: Principles of Simulation
Mon 23 Apr Water Resources Modeling: Principles of Simulation (Presentation)  Rd.3 
Wed 25 Apr Principles of Optimization (Presentation)  Ex 3
Thu 26 Apr

Ex. 4: Simulation modeling (Data: 1, 2, & 3, Tutorial, Video, Download WEAP from Canvas!)

 Term Proj. Abstract, Members
Water Resources Modeling: Principles of Optimization
Mon 30 Apr  Q&A for Exam (Study Guide) & Ex. 5 Principles of  Optimizations (Data and Tutorial)  Rd.4
Wed 2 May MIDTERM EXAM - ONLY 1st half of the course   
Thu 3 May Midterm Project   Ex 4
Environmental Water Resources Management
Mon 7 May Principles of Environmental Flows  Rd.5 
Wed 9 May Guest Speaker - TBD  Ex 5 
Thu 10 May Flows & Ex. 6: Flow Regime Analysis (Data, Text, IHA - Download it from Canvas!)  Midterm Report
Cost - Benefit Analysis
Mon 14 May Cost Benefit Analysis (Presentation)  Rd.6
Wed 16 May Cost benefit Analysis  Ex 6
Thu 17 May Ex. 7: Cost Benefit Analysis (DataText)  
Risk Analysis
Mon 21 May Risk Analysis and Expected Monetary Value (Presentation, Video)  Rd.7
Wed 23 May Ex. 8: Risk Analysis and Expected Monetary Value (DataText)  Ex 7 
Thu 24 May Term Project Presentations  
Integrated Water Resources Management
Mon 29 May Holiday, Memorial Day   
Wed 31 May Water Management Case Study: Pajaro Valley  Ex. 8
Thu 1 Jun Term Project Presentation  
Term project Presentations
Mon 5 Jun Panel of ESM Alumni  
Wed 7 Jun Water Management Case Study: Russian River  
Thu 8 Jun Term Project Presentation  Final Report
Wed 13 Jun FINAL EXAM at 10:30 am - ONLY 2nd half of the course (Study Guide)  




Rd.1 Hanak et al. pp 15-40 Ex. 1: Population and Water Demand

Rd.2 Hanak, Lund et al. pp 41-69

Ex. 2: Water Demand, Conservation & Efficiency
Rd.3 Hanak, Lund et al. pp 71-103 Ex. 3: Water Budgets
Rd.4 Rivers for life pp. 5-26, 36-41 Ex. 4: Simulation Modeling
Rd.5 Rivers for life pp. 45-67 Ex. 5: Optimization Modeling
Rd.6 Groundwater Sustain. Progr. pp 4-31 Ex. 6: Flow Regime Analysis
Rd.7 Harter et al. pp 1-34 Ex. 7: Cost Benefit Analysis
  Ex. 8: Expected Monetary Value