Dustin Shull scuba diving.

Game Changers – Continuous Water Quality Monitoring

Dustin Shull from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Join Dustin, Tim, and myself on September 30th for the webinar: Expert Tips for Continuous Water Quality Monitoring!

It is with great pleasure that I am co-hosting this month’s webinar on continuous water quality monitoring with the Pennsylvania DEP and YSI, a Xylem brand. As the presenters – Dustin Shull, Tim Finegan and I – started to compile our information for this webinar, it became apparent to all that there is a lot more to discuss and present with water quality professionals around the world than we can cover in one hour. You can certainly look forward to more webinars on this topic!

Surrounded by hydrologists on a day-to-day basis, I most certainly talk about discharge and rating curves a lot. I find discussions about hydrometrics fascinating (actually I find any discussions about water and data management inspiring, but that is a whole other issue). But alas, I’m a self-professed “Water Quality Nerd” and a Water Quality Professional by trade. I find the information you can glean from water quality sensors cathartic. Many of our customers have a similar “dark” secret: they are passionate about water quality.

I continue to be fascinated by what patterns can tell us about the world around us, and about the anthropogenic affects our day-to-day activities have on the water cycle… and how the hydrologic cycle impacts and enriches our day-to-day lives.

In Lance Gunderson and C.S Holling’s work “Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systemsi”i, the authors write about some very deep and interesting topics. One of the findings from this work has always stuck with me though, especially when I am in the midst of computing a final record of continuous water quality data. Their conclusion that “slow variables, multistable behaviors, and stochasticity cause adaptive management to outperform optimization approaches that seek stable targets” continues to reverberate with me. “Life finds a way,” as Jeff Goldblum would say. And as the world endeavors to protect and improve our water resources for generations to come, we need to keep in mind that natural systems have many stable states, and continuous water quality data is one of the strongest tools to help investigate these states. The constant change in water quality behavior is what makes the management of these conditions so difficult. This is why, as an industry, as we move forward, we need to utilize continuous water quality monitoring solutions that give us the ability to describe these states and water quality systems can be managed in the most comprehensive and cost effective manner. Ask questions about your data and use cutting edge systems like AQUARIUS to facilitate that interaction with your developing insight.

Collect data that truly represent the system… but keep in mind that these systems are truly stochastic.

The AQUARIUS system is recognized around the world as a game changer in the water quality domain because it allows you to efficiently and effectively compute data of a known quality. Having spent the first two thirds of my career in the water quality monitoring domain, and I find the path forward to truly addressing some of the most pressing water quality issues exciting. A major part of that journey is for the continued adoption and advancement of the tools that help us manage the resource.

It is my hope that this webinar will inspire and provoke water quality monitoring professionals to think of, test, and choose new hypotheses about the water resources they manage.

Never stop asking questions and seek out solutions like AQUARIUS to help you answer those questions.

See you at the webinar (and on the water)!


L. H. Gunderson and C.S. Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems, Washington D.C., 2002, ISBN:1-55963-857-5

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