Last month was a busy one for water news. The biggest story of the month has to be that 2015 was the hottest on record. This is true globally with the WMO reporting that 2015 broke all previous records by a strikingly wide margin at 0.76o C above the 1961-1990 average. This marks the first time that global temperatures have been 1° C above the pre-industrial era.
One objective of the Hydrology Corner is to provide a forum where hydrometric problems can be discussed and clever solutions to those problems can be shared. The stream gaugers vs. beavers post is a good example of a discussion of a difficult problem. Not only have several people posted on the blog but the post also resulted in an email exchange with Jeff Watson from Horizons Regional Council who realized that New Zealand may have a solution to a North American problem.
Incremental change is an insidious thing. Like a frog in a pot of water on the stove it can be difficult to know what is going on when your attention is moment-to-moment. It could be that from day-to-day there is no noticeable change but year-to-year there is major change and decade-to-decade there is transformative change. The business of water monitoring is vastly different than when I was in the field.
We usually report water quantity information as a volumetric rate (e.g. m3/s); we usually report water quality information as a concentration (e.g. mg/l); and we usually report precipitation as a length (e.g. mm). But we don’t have to. The mass of water is related to its volume by its density which, conveniently, can be assumed to be unity (1). This means that we could just as easily report water information using the dimension of mass. Would reporting water information in a different dimension change the way that we understand water?
Happy holidays from all the contributors here at Hydrology Corner! It’s been another busy year at Hydrology Corner with more than 30 insightful and important discussions on a range of topics, from Uncertainty and the IoT, to Captain Kirk piping Water from Seattle to California and the Zombie Apocalypse.
I have written previously about risk mitigation in the context of the L’Aquila earthquake and a panel discussion about the Wivenhoe Dam case at the HWRS conference has brought many of the underlying issues to the forefront yet again. At issue is who can judge and who should have the power to judge the action of experts in the wake of disasters?
Rob Vertessy CEO of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) gave a very engaging keynote address this morning at the Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium in Hobart Tasmania. Dr. Vertessy is an unusual choice Director of Meteorology at BOM in that his PhD is in fluvial geomorphology. I personally think his background complements and enhances the power of meteorological analysis by way of his ability to clearly articulate processes that are active across many time-scales.
This past month, I had the great pleasure of attending a couple of new training classes offered by Aquatic Informatics. It was great to get to work with our outstanding AQUARIUS Support Team yet again. But it was also very exciting to interact with water quality professionals from all around North America.
In my Hallowe’en post I presented various ways in which better rigor in tracking data provenance can do many things — up to and including — saving the world during a zombie apocalypse. Today, I would like to focus on a much more immediate and pragmatic benefit of improving traceability of data to source. Our…
Canada was built on the back of beavers but — much to the chagrin of stream gaugers ever since — beavers managed to outlive the fashion of top hats. After the end of the fur trade, beavers started to re-populate the north with impunity. Anyone unlucky enough to have the responsibility of stream gauging on…