PSC420 Water Policy and Management (8)

In this subject students gain an in-depth knowledge about water policy. The subject is structured in three modules each of three units. Unit 1 provide the context and introduction to water quantity and quality including trends in water supply, climate change and risks to water resources in Australia. Unit 2 explores water use and demand including the value of water to the environment, irrigation agriculture and urban uses, water use efficiency and recycling. Unit 3 focused on water policy and planning including principles of water reform, current developments in water policy and catchment-based decision-making. On completion students will be able to apply their knowledge of water policy in order to make sound independent judgments about the wise management of our rivers


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSC420. 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

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have an understanding of the water cycle including climate change and variability, risks to supply, and interaction of surface and groundwater
  • have an understanding of the value of water (quality and quantity) to different users
  • have an understanding of the principles of aquatic ecology and allocation of water for the environment
  • be able to critically reflect on key regional, national and international issues related to water
  • be able to critically reflect on issues associated with water use efficiency and management of water in sustainable agriculture (dryland and irrigation)
  • be able to critically reflect on issues associated with urban and industrial water use; effluent management and recycling (rural and urban)
  • be able to review, consolidate, and synthesize the knowledge that underpins the development of water policy in Australia, future challenges, and roles and responsibilities of government, agencies, communities, industry and individuals
  • be able to apply integrated catchment management and regional decision-making in Australia principles in order to develop sound independent judgments regarding the wise management of waterways;


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1 Water in Australia
  • Module 2 Water quantity and the water cycle
  • Module 3: Water quality
  • Module 4: Water for the environment
  • Module 5: Irrigation and agriculture
  • Module 6: Urban /industrial water and recycling
  • Module 7: Principles of water policy and integrated catchment management
  • Module 8: Current developments in water policy
  • Module 9: Tools for catchment-based planning and best practice examples

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSC420 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Written report
Final assessment

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

This residential schools provides irreplaceable opportunities for peer and staff interaction. Expert panels and industry/agency specialist provide presentations and debate and there are guest lectures from a variety of people intimately involved in water policy. Field visits (water for the environment, management of regulated rivers, irrigation farms) provide contextualised knowledge required for the deeper thinking needed to participate in the debate and discussion with the expert panel

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.