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S ENV343 Water Supply

Lecture outline

This course examines how to design and then operate water supply systems (particularly in the UK context) with some consideration of wider socio-environmental issues, through the study of:

A. Supply System Design


Water resource, drought and water supply: Issues of spatial and temporal variation in water resources in England and Wales. Types of drought.

Water demand (use): Water uses in England and Wales and elsewhere. Use of Public Water Supply (PWS) in the England and Wales, and forecasting changing use of PWS.


Water source development: Early water source development in the UK, development and features of direct supply reservoirs, regulating reservoirs, integrated surface supplies, pumped-storage reservoirs, estuary storage reservoirs and inter-basin transfers. Groundwater sources and the integration of surface and groundwater sources by river augmentation, artificial recharge and full conjunctive use (including a detailed discussion of the Lancashire Conjunctive Use System). Benefits of water source development (e.g., increased yield, security of supply, coping with inter-regional resource-demand problems, multiple use, etc.) are described with reference to specific case studies.


Source yield. How to calculate the likely yield of (a) groundwater, (b) river intakes and (c) surface reservoir sources (using e.g., the CMR method, Rippl method, synthetic minimum method, and control curves applied to the local Stocks reservoir).

B. Supply System Operation


Source to consumer (Waterworks): Description of the design of source works (river intakes, dams and boreholes), raw-water treatment works, service reservoirs and distribution systems

Raw water treatment: Detailed discussion of the methods of raw water treatment including the possible processes of storage, filtration (slow sand, rapid gravity, pressure), chlorination, ion exchange, three stage treatment, and the new granular activated carbon filtration. Illustrated with specific examples of WTW’s.


Saving supplies: Discussion of leakage and its control, and the use of consumer restrictions during drought conditions


Water source protection: Catchment-wide protection via groundwater vulnerability classification, land-purchasing and catchment authorities to local protection via source protection zoning (and planning recommendations), nitrate sensitive areas, and statutory water quality objectives and Local Environment Agency Plans.


Water management: Rationale and for the development of regional management of water supply and protection in the UK. National management of water in the UK. The conflicts (particularly in the developing world) arising from a lack of international water management.

C. Environment & Development


Water industry environmental impacts: A discussion of the need for water source development (particularly in developing countries) but with due consideration of the environmental (ecological and social) effects of river impoundment, river channelisation and ‘over-abstraction’, with examples.


Rural water supply development: A discussion of the small scale technologies appropriate for application within rural areas of the developing world where resources are limited, including rainwater harvesting, sand dams, hand-dug wells and tube wells.


Copyright © Dr. Nick Chappell, Lancaster University 2001.