This course will improve your understanding of the drivers of catchment hydrological processes with regard to water quantity and quality, and how these can be managed through engineering practices including drainage, irrigation and soil erosion control.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost


What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate sources of sediment, nutrients and pesticides within a catchment, their pathways and receptors and identify management options
  • Select appropriate input parameter values to apply soil erosion models to predict current erosion status and evaluate different soil conservation measures to control both water quality and quantity,
  • Design drainage systems, channels/ waterways and simple hydraulic structures including the calculation of peak runoff and total yield for a catchment,
  • Devise preventative and remedial techniques to improve catchment water quality, taking account of site location within a catchment and socio-economic conditions,
  • Explain the interactions of irrigation with catchment management and quantify crop water requirement.

Core content

  • Principles of catchment hydrology and hydraulics,
    • Problems of catchment management
      • Water quantity
        • Prediction of peak runoff (Rational, Cook’s) and catchment yield,
        • Water flow in structures e.g. channels, porous media,
        • Prediction of irrigation demand.
      • Water quality 
        • Sources of contamination / pollution, and consequences,
        • Surface erosion of slope forming materials,
        • Soil erosion processes,
        • Soil erosion consequences.
    • Catchment modelling
      • Hydrology – CATCHIS,
      • Soil erosion risk assessment and modelling USLE, MMF.
  • Water quantity control
    • Investigation of land drainage status,
      • Required site moisture conditions for desired end uses.
    • Drainage design: types of drainage,
      • Role and design of surface drainage channels: natural channels; engineered channels, diversion drains etc,
      • Role and design of subsurface drainage systems,
        • Moles, tiles, pipes,
        • Water table control: use of Hooghoudt and Glover Dumm equations; the Miers approach,
        • Hydraulics calculation of channel / pipe discharge capacity using Mannings equation,
        • Practical issues of drainage design: selection of materials, drainage maintenance, pipe surround, backfill and pipe sizing.
    • The design of control structures including weirs, spillways, culverts,
      • Water storage structures, including ‘green’ infrastructure e.g. green roofs,
      • Design of earth embankment storage dams.
    • Case studies: SUDs Sustainable Drainage systems; Lined (grassed) waterways,
    • Design of irrigation systems,
      • Sprinkler, raingun, trickle, subsurface,
      • Ernst equation for sub irrigation design.
  • Water quality control 
    • Control of sediment, nutrients, agrochemicals, other contaminants,
      • Surface soil erosion control (prevention),
        • Terraces,
        • Check dams,
        • Agronomic techniques (bioengineering),
        • Vegetation as an engineering material (bioengineering and biotechnical engineering),
        • Geotextiles.
    • Water treatment in the catchment (remedial),
      • Water treatment works,
      • Contaminant sorbing materials.

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.