Free course


Free statement of participation on completion

Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. In the UK there are areas where water supplies are limited, as shown by recent droughts. Globally, there are many reas that do not have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change. Groundwater is a free course that helps you examines the options.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • use information from wells, the topography of the ground and a water table contour map, to carry out the following: interpret cross-sections, calculate the thickness of the unsaturated zone, and the rate of groundwater flow; deduce the direction in which groundwater is flowing; and estimate the depth to the saline interface in a coastal area from the height of the water table
  • list the types of rock that usually make good aquifers, and assess how good an aquifer a rock could be, given its porosity and hydraulic conductivity
  • distinguish between unconfined and confined aquifers, and recognize conditions in confined aquifers that will produce a flowing artesian well
  • use suitable data to calculate the exploitable storage, specific yield and specific retention of an aquifer.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 22/03/2016

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