Introduction to Environmental Systems Engineering

  • Robert Willis
  • Brad A. Finney


Environmental systems engineering is broadly concerned with the planning and management of water, air, and land resources. Environmental engineering has evolved over the past two decades from traditional, cost minimization design problems to problems typified by conflicting engineering, environmental, and economic objectives and constraints. The evolution of environmental engineering from sanitary engineering and the problems associated with wastewater treatment design has been caused in part by the recognition that environmental problems are multi-disciplinary problems. The evaluation of regional water quality or the conjunctive management of groundwater and surface water resources are environmental planning and management problems-problems involving engineering design, resource economics and environmental analysis. The decision-making in these types of problems involves a hierarchy of engineering activities that range from the design of an individual pumping well in a groundwater basin to controlling reservoir releases to satisfy municipal, industrial, or agricultural water demands. All of these decisions are ultimately based on an understanding of how the environmental system (the groundwater basin or stream or river) responds to, or is affected by the engineering decisions.


Water Quality Decision Variable Biochemical Oxygen Demand North China Plain Water Quality Problem 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Willis
    • 1
  • Brad A. Finney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Resources EngineeringHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA

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