I think this paper is in line with a new paradigm in hydrology which is evolving from merely getting the signature of hydrological response right to getting the right answers for the right reasons. Insight into the ages of water revealed by stable isotope analysis is causing us to think more deeply about water when it is out of sight. This should result not only in improved predictions for flow but also for water quality because we would be able to make better inference about the time water spends in interacting with substances that alter its quality. Similar to when water is underground, the atmosphere should not be a black box from which water magically appears and to which it mysteriously disappears.


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