Hydrology Corner Blog: water data management

Reality by the Numbers – What the Spreadsheet Has Done to Us

There is a hidden cost behind the reliance on spreadsheets that is invisible to those who are dependent on them. Most people use spreadsheets for multiple purposes, so using spreadsheets to manage water data seems “free” relative to the cost of purpose-built software for data management. A National Public Radio Podcast about spreadsheets was recommended to me by colleagues at the CWRA conference in Lethbridge last week.

Hydrology Corner Blog: Data Asset Management ebook

Linking the Flow of Data to the Flow of Water – Better Information Yields Better Outcomes

Inattention and imperfect information costs individuals, organizations and society in immeasurable ways. The relatively new field of information economics (infonomics) is revealing that great efficiencies can be gained by managing information as a strategic asset. All business decisions are made with the information available at the time. Yet, this availability is often a result of desperate scraping of whatever data happens to be readily accessible in real-time resulting in sub-optimal business outcomes. The new insight emerging from the study of infonomics is that decisions can be materially improved by anticipating needs and nurturing the information required to meet those needs.

AHA Conference 2016 - Water Data Management & Technology

AHA Conference 2016 – Technology & Better Water Resources Management

Stream hydrographers from all around Oceania gather for the biennial Australia Hydrographers Association Conference, which was held this year in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Water monitoring is a place-based activity meaning that hydrographers are widely dispersed all across the landscape with very little opportunity to interact, build community, share experiences, and develop best practices.

Water Data Truth

Internet Truth vs Verifiable Truth – The Importance of Traceable Provenance in Water Information

The most passionate people involved in the water monitoring industry all care deeply about the preservation of traceable provenance for their data. To people on the outside this can seem like an indulgence that adds a burden of work to the data management process with little apparent benefit. The benefit is ‘verifiable truth’, a distinction with little value. Until it matters!

Protecting Endangered Species with Continuous Water Quality Data

Better Water Management of Critical Habitat for Endangered Species

In the United States, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) defines endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range… “ and critical habitat as “the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species … on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection.” However, when the Endangered Species Act talks about conservation it refers to instruments such as: “research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation …” Those instruments may have been the best available at the time but times have changed.

Environmental Intelligence for Managing Hydroclimatic Variability

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.

Hydrology – The Meta-Science

Hydrology is the science of sciences. There is no science that is as dependent on the other sciences and there is no science that is so fundamental to every other science. In fact, it is rarely the case that you would find a dedicated department of hydrology in any university, yet some aspects of hydrology…

Water Nexus or Disjunction? Data will be the Difference

Much has been said about the water-energy-food nexus. The implication of many of these discussions is that we cannot disentangle policies for food and energy from each other because these sectors are inextricably linked by water. The nexus actually has many dimensions: you can add health, safety, economic activity, environmental sustainability, and social justice to…

More Water Resource Extremes? The New Normal Doesn’t Look Like Your Old Average Anymore

The theme of the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) 2015 conference in Winnipeg this year was “More Extremes? Preparing for future challenges to Canada’s water resources.” Fittingly, the North American Stream Hydrographers (NASH) held 3 sessions that were dominated by discussions of how to resolve several of the daunting challenges inherent in measuring water. All…