Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Civil and Mining Engineering


Rapid population growth has caused an increasing demand for water in both agricultural and industrial sectors. With wastage of water, deterioration of water sources through pollution and the impact of humans on the water cycle, further water shortages are expected. An increasing demand for water dictates the necessity for on-going research into the assessment and modelling of surface and subsurface water resources. As water resources have become scarcer, the trend in water resources development has shifted from large to small catchments, many of which are ungauged.

In water resources design a long record of runoff is desirable, but this is not usually available in small catchments. Rainfall records are more readily available than runoff records in most situations. This emphasises the need for better and more consistent rainfall-runoff modelling.

The primary objectives of this research are the assessment of currently available rainfall-runoff models. An investigation of suitably complex rainfall-runoff models, and an evaluation of the physical interpretation of the parameter values and their interactions has been carried out in order to achieve a better understanding of the rainfall-runoff processes in natural catchments.

The secondary objectives involved the development of a methodology to estimate both the catchment runoff and the parameter values of the rainfall-runoff models for catchments with short records, with a view to extending the use of rainfall-runoff models to ungauged catchments.


Accompanying floppy discs can be consulted with the hard copy of the thesis in the Archives Collection, call no. is 551.4880994/2