Water Resources Engineering

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Program Overview

Water Resources Engineering focuses on the use and management of land and water resources in rural and urban watersheds.

A growing population and the need for clean water demands Water Resources Engineers to develop solutions that are environmentally sustainable and economically viable.  Water Resources Engineering combines elements of other disciplines such as civil engineering, environmental engineering, agriculture, planning and geography in a unique combination ideally suited to address society's concerns and needs surrounding water.

Students design and develop creative solutions to protect groundwater, soil, wetlands, streams and lakes to ensure that the development of new water supplies not disrupt natural processes.  Students learn to apply engineering analysis and computer models to identify water resources problems and design engineering solutions to these challenges.

What Students are saying about Water Resources Engineering

Brad - Water Resources Engineering Student

Water Resources
  I am proud to say I am an Engineering Alumni at the University of Guelph!! One amazing feature that I love about Guelph engineering, is the amount of team-work that is involved; this allowed me to become a stronger leader and teammate. Also, by reaching out to my engineering professors, I was able to obtain engineering related jobs during school to help further my knowledge in Water Resources.  With my experiences during my time at Guelph, I  obtained a full time position at Conestoga-Rovers and Associates BEFORE finishing my final semester at school, as a Junior Project Engineer.

Program Information

  Bachelor of Engineering*
*Available in regular or co-operative education
  • Water conservation
  • River Restoration
  • Storm Water Management
  • Meteorology and Geology
      As a Water Resources Engineer, you will be prepared to work globally as a designer, planner, manager or researcher for consulting firms, municipalities, conservation authorities, research institutions and government agencies. 
  • Project Engineer
  • Water Quality Engineer
  • Ontario Ministry of Government
  • Project Engineer, International Development Agencies


    First Year

    Your first year courses in Water Resources Engineering are chosen to introduce you to engineering design and to build the foundation of fundamental science and math skills needed in all fields of engineering. These foundational courses are essential to your education as an engineer.

    Fall Semsester

    Winter Semester

    CHEM*1040  |  General Chemistry I

    CHEM*1050  |  General Chemistry II

    ENGG*1100  |  Engineering and Design I

    CIS*1500  |  Introduction to Programming

    ENGG*1500  |  Engineering Analysis

    ENGG*1210  |  Engineering Mechanics I

    MATH*1200  |  Calculus I

    MATH*1210  |  Calculus II

    PHYS*1130  |  Physics with Applications

    PHYS*1010  |  Introductory Electricity and Magnetism

    Beyond First Year

    In addition to the interdisciplinary courses, below are a few courses specific to Water Resources Engineering. For descriptions of these courses and an overview of all courses available, please consult the current Undergraduate Calendar.

    • Soil-Water Conservation Systems Design
    • Watershed Systems Design
    • Geographic Information Systems in Environmental Engineering

    Elective Opportunities:

    • Water Conservation
    • River Restoration
    • Storm Water Management
    • Meteorology and Geology

    Design. Create. Solve.

    Guelph Engineering students experience Engineering Design from the moment they walk in the door.  At Guelph, you will take part in our integrated approach to engineering design starting immediately in your first semester. Your design experience continues to build in each year of your program and many 3rd and 4th year courses have a large design component built directly into the curriculum.

    Capstone Design Project

    In your final year, you will work with students from multiple engineering disciplines to complete a final design project that focuses on your area of interest.  This capstone course allows students to complete a project from beginning to end, in their chosen field and under the guidance of a faculty advisor.  The comprehensive design course prepares our students to envision and develop new and effective solutions to issues in our world.

    Examples of Water Resources Engineering capstone design projects:

    • Proposed water conservation measures for the City of Guelph
    • Improved operation of oil-grit separators using simulation of flow patterns
    • Urban stormwater drainage systems design for areas susceptible to natural disasters
    • Dam removal and stream rehabilitation at Saugeen River in Walkerton, ON
    • Design of a grey water treatment system for homes using indoor planters
    • Design of an improved drinking water supply for rural areas of Bangladesh
    • Design of remediation schemes for reclaiming saline soils in Gujarat, India
    • Design of improved stormwater systems for the Toronto Zoo