Data analyses for water resources design parameter

Manoj K Jha, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University
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This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.


Students get assignments to select a region/river of their choice and download historical time series of streamflow data for over 50 years from the USGS website. This set of data is then prepared for statistical analyses to develop flow duration curve and other relevant analyses. Finally, they interpret the usefulness of these analyses to use in the design of water resources structures.

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Learning Goals

  • web browsing for data search
  • download and import into excel spreadsheet
  • data analyses for statistical outcome
  • critical thinking
  • while analyzing the outcome, we discuss the stationarity assumption and how the validity has been impacted by climate change leading to the sustainable design of water resources structures (Students can be given flexibility to choose different climate change scenarios and let them realize the impact on design criteria)

Context for Use

A set of two assignments complete this activity. However, students come across many road-blocks in finding the data set and conducting statistical analyses. It takes lecture time as well significant office hours to help them digest all information and make them comfortable with data download and computational analyses.

It is required to have course on hydrology and statistics.

Description and Teaching Materials

Assignment 1: data search and download (Microsoft Word 35kB Feb22 13)
Assignment 2: data analyses and scenario analyses (Microsoft Word 844kB Feb22 13)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity was used in the course Water Resources Engineering Design (CIEN 560).


So far grading is the only mechanism to support the assessment

References and Resources