IRR402 Critical Factors in Irrigation (8)

This subject identifies a number of critical issues affecting irrigation in a semi-arid environment: irrigation water (sources, variability, and management) and drought (climate variability, change and adaptation mechanisms). Critical environmental issues arising from irrigation: drainage through the soil profile, the accumulation of salt and the effects on river and land systems.

Prior Knowledge
It's expected that students will have completed IRR200 or IRR400 and IRR401 before enrolling into this subject. This subject builds on the objectives completed in IRR200 or IRR400 and IRR401.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to accurately identify potential sources of irrigation water and evaluate its sustainability;
  • be able to describe the impact of climate variability and change on irrigation and outline coping mechanisms;
  • be able to outline the characteristics of soils which influence water infiltration and drainage through the soil profile;
  • be able to explain the interaction between irrigation in a semiarid environment, the accumulation of salt and the interaction with groundwater;
  • be able to accurately predict the impacts of the interaction between irrigation and nutrients, chemicals, soil particles in drainage waters and the consequences downstream.


This subject will cover the following topics:

A. Irrigation water resources: - Surface and groundwater resources, - irrigation water planning and management, - drought, - climate variability/change, - adaptive techniques to drought, - use of waste and recycled water. B. Infiltration, soil salinity and drainage: 1, Infiltration process and models: - Darcys law, - physical model, - energy model, - empirical models. 2,Infiltration measurement: - ring infiltrometers, - blocked furrow, - sprinkler method, - disc permameters, - inflow-outflow method, - recirculating infiltrometer, - two-point method. 3, Groundwater movement: - Hydraulic head, - groundwater recharge. 4, Basic salt balance: - What is salinity, - hazards of salt, - accumulation of salt, - impact of accumulation of salt, - methods of dealing with salt. C. Environmental impacts of irrigation: - Water quality indicators and guidelines, - drainage water, - pesticides, nutrients, - reduction of impacts through improved management practices.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.