Water Resources Planning and Management


By the end of this course, all students shall have acquired knowledge and competences on the process of water resources planning and management, including legal and institutional aspects, both at national and international level, enabling then to:

  • Understand e develop water resources planning processes
  • Recognize and understand the main proceedings and methods in water resources management
  • Evaluate water availability and water needs for multiples sectors
  • Understand and quantify the relevance and impacts associated with climate change on water availability and needs
  • Participate in the process of selection and implementation of methods and tools essential to the processes of water management and decision making

Students shall also acquire competences which will allow then mastery on :

  • Water resources monitoring strategies
  • Water availability characterization
  • Water needs quantification
  • Water balances calculations
  • Hydraulic infrastructures design
  • Integrated water quality assessment

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Pedro de Nobre Carmona Rodrigues, Paulo Alexandre Marques Diogo


Weekly - 4

Total - 62

Teaching language



not apply


Brundtland, Gro Harlem (2004) – “Remarks by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, MD, MPH - Former Prime Minister of Norway, Past Director-General of World Health Organization“,4th Annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 29, USA.


Lencastre, A. e F.M. Franco, 2003, Lições de Hidrologia, FCT-UNL.


Leitão, A. E.; Rodrigues, A. C.; Henriques, A. G. (1996) - “Uma Nova Visão para o Planeamento e Gestão dos Recursos Hídricos Portugueses no Início do Século XXI”, 3º Congresso da Água, APRH, Lisboa, Março.

Loucks, D. P. and E. van Beek, Water Resources Systems Planning and Management, UNESCO, Paris, 2005

Water Framework Directive: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/index_en.html

Teaching method

All concepts, supporting methods and integrated analysis regarding water management concepts and strategies are presented and discussed during lectures. Tools and methodologies such as water balances, water availability and water needs quantification, modeling tools – hydrological and water quality are implemented during lab classes based on the development of exercises designed to translate the various processes of water resources management. Students are required to develop, organize and present reports in the form of a paper or technical/scientific document, including a strong component of criticism on the obtained results.

Evaluation method

The assessment includes two components, tests and group work reports. There will be 2 tests (T1 and T2) + 2 group work reports (TP1 and TP2).

Approval implies a positive rating on each component (tests and group work reports). In the case of group work reports, these will be discussed.

The final grade (FG), between 0 and 20, is the result of weighing between the results of two tests (T1 and T2) and two group work reports (TP1 and TP2) according to:

FG = T1x0,2+T2x0,2+TP1x0,3+TP2x0,3.



Subject matter

  1. On the importance and necessity for water management
  2. Instruments
    1. Legal Framework
    2. Institutional Framework
    3. Planning
    4. Economical and Financial Regime
    5. Monitoring
    6. Licensing
    7. Auditing
    8. Construction and operation of infrastructures
  3. Principles
    1. Sustainability
    2. Use efficiency
    3. Polluter pays principle
    4. DPSIR approach
    5. Precautionary principle
    6. Participation principle
  4. Management support Methods
    1. Fresh, transitional and coastal waters
    2. Water balances evaluation
    3. Water sources, availability and needs
    4. Hydrological modelling
    5. Water quality modelling
    6. Pressures, pollution and pathways
    7. Uncertainty and optimization
    8. Drought and scarcity indexes
    9. Hydropower potential
    10. Information systems and decision support systems
  5. Climate Change
    1. Impacts
    2. Future scenarios for water availability and needs
    3. Climate change adaptation