Hydrology and Drainage Works


At the end of this curricular unit, students will have acquired knowledge skills and competences to characterise the reference conditions of natural hydrological phenomena and their degree of anthropic modification. They will also be able to contribute to the testing and simulation of planning and management options for water systems, namely those associated with drainage problems and flow regulation and storage (using hydraulic works). Students will thus be able to do:

  • Watershed delimitation and watershed physiographic characterization;
  • Process hydrometeorological raw data (from the gage capture to the hydrometry of flows);
  • Precipitation regime characterization in a watershed or rain gauge station;
  • Quantification of the components of the hydrological cycle such as precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration and surface runoff;
  • Understand infiltration processes and soil water drainage;
  • Calculate surface runoff and flow volumes in a downstream section;
  • Evaluate water needs and availability in a watershed;
  • Understand and use methods for flood peak flows calculations in rural and urban watersheds, dimensioning curverts to cope with drainage problems;
  • Characterize the intensity-frequency-duration of rainfall episodes and their erosive potential.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo Alexandre Marques Diogo, Rui José Raposo Rodrigues


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


1. Chow, V.T., Maidment, D. and Mays, L. (1988). Applied Hydrology, Mc-Graw Hill;

2. Hipólito, J.R., Carmo Vaz,A. (2012). Hidrologia e Recursos Hídricos: IST Press.

3. Jones J.A.A. (1997). Global Hydrology – Processes, Resources and Environmental Management, Addison Wesley Longman Limited.

4. Lencastre, A. e Franco, F.M. (2003). Lições de Hidrologia, ed. Fundação Armando Lencastre, 2003.

5. WHITE, W;WATTS, J. ed. (1994) – River Flood Hydraulics, HR Wallingford, Wiley, 604 pp.

6. HANN, C. – Statistical Methods in Hydrology, TheIowaStateUniversityPress, 378 pp.

Teaching method

Lectures: presentation of the concepts of hydrology and the techniques available for their implementation. Exemplification and discussion of methodological alternatives. Practical applications in studies and design.

Lab sessions: Practical classes: presentation and exemplification of techniques, instrumentation and computer tools for working in hydrology. Development of calculation exercises in hydrology. Development of individual practical work, individual, with monitoring by teachers and evaluated in Testing.

Evaluation method

Theoretical and exercise evaluation: 2 tests (T1 & T2) , 
without consulting supporting documents; maximum rating on each test: 10

Practice Test (Tp), consultation of supporting documents allowed;  maximum rating: 20

FINAL RATING: (T1+T2) X 0.7 + Tp X 0.3

Obs: (T1+T2) >= 9.5 ; Tp >=9.5

(a minimum of 9.5 must be achieved in each evaluation component - practice and theory).

Final approval requires 2/3 attendance to practice classes

Subject matter

1.  Hydrological cycle: general subjects; hydrological balance.

2.  Watershed analysis: delimitation; physiographic characteristics.

3.  Precipitation: classification; precipitation intensity and depth; statistics and hydrology.

4.  Interception: concept and processes.

5.  Evaporation: concepts; measurement; calculation; influencing factors.

6.  Evapotranspiration: concepts; potential and effective evapotranspiration; potential evapotranspiration.

7.  Flow in the saturated and the unsaturated zone.

8.  Infiltration, percolation and drainage.

9.  Surface runoff: river flow measurement; hydrological series; reservoir dimensioning; watershed runoff components; hydrographs; flooding; urban surface runoff. 

10. Water resources management: water demand and availability; reservoir design and operation.

11. Soil erosion. Sediment transport.

12. Hydrological modelling: methods and mathematical models.


Programs where the course is taught: