Water resource engineering students dive into real-world problem solving

Hands-on learning is critical for gaining practical experience and developing skills in any field, especially water resources and supply engineering. To that end, ECH4313 Water Resources and Supply Engineering, a subject taught in collaboration with UCLAN, recently held a demonstration session on the characteristics of water resources in Kiara Hill. 

During the session, students learned how to collect and analyse data on temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and nutrient levels to monitor the physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of a river. These factors are important indicators of water quality, and the students were able to classify the river water quality based on established standards by monitoring them. 

In Malaysia, river water quality is classified using the Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (INWQS), which were established by the Department of Environment (DOE) under the Ministry of Environment and Water. This classification system aids in determining whether the water is safe to drink, swim in, or use for other purposes. 

The demo session served as an introduction to the students’ later-in-the-course open-ended project. They will use their skills and knowledge to assess the water quality of a nearby river in this project. This will entail gathering and analysing data on a variety of physical, biological, and chemical factors in order to identify potential sources of pollution and develop recommendations for improving water quality. 

The project is part of a larger effort to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to address the complex challenges that water resources and supply engineering face today. Students will be better prepared to contribute to sustainable and equitable water management in the future if they engage in hands-on learning and apply their skills to real-world problems. 

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, access to safe water and sanitation is a basic human right, and a lack of access to safe water and sanitation is a leading cause of disease and death globally. According to Malaysia’s National Water Services Commission (SPAN), only 60% of the population has access to treated water, with the remaining 40% relying on untreated sources. 

Given these challenges, it is critical to provide the next generation of water resources and supply engineers with the necessary skills and knowledge. The demo session and subsequent project are steps in the right direction, and it is hoped that they will encourage more students to pursue careers in this field. 

The demonstration session and project emphasise the value of hands-on learning and practical experience in water resources and supply engineering. Students can develop the skills and knowledge they need to address the complex challenges facing the water industry today and contribute to sustainable and equitable water management in the future by engaging in real-world problem solving. 


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