What is Hydraulic Engineering?
Hydraulic engineering is
the Science of water in motion and its interactions with the surrounding
environment. Water plays a major role in human perception of the environment
because it is an indispensable element. More importantly Human Life is totally
dependent upon water. The technical challenges facing hydraulic engineers are
formidable and sustained research efforts are essential.
The term 'Hydraulics' is
related to the application of the Fluid Mechanics principles to water
engineering structures, civil and environmental engineering facilities: e.g.,
canal, river, dam, reservoir, water treatment plant. Hydraulic engineering is
the science of water in motion, and the interactions between the flowing fluid
and the surrounding environment. Hydraulic engineers are concerned with
application of the basic principles of fluid mechanics to open
channel flows and real fluid flow hydrodynamics. Examples of open channels are
natural streams and rivers. Man-made channels include irrigation and navigation
canals, drainage ditches, sewer and culvert pipes running partially full, and
links catchment hydrology and rainfall runoff to fluid mechanics of water
runoff. In a catchment, a hydraulic structure must be analysed as part of the
surrounding catchment and the hydrology plays an important role. Structural and
hydraulic constraints interact, and the design of a hydraulic structure is a
complex exercise altogether. First the system must be identified. What are the
design objectives ? What are the constraints ? What is the range of options ?
What is the "best choice" ? Its detailed analysis must be conducted
and the engineers should ask : is this solution really satisfactory ? During
design stages, physical and computational models may be reliable 'tools' to
compare the performances of various design options.