Dr. Ellen Wohl provoked the audience to give thought to how we evaluate river health in her keynote address to the Riverflow 2016 Conference in St. Louis Missouri. Mindfulness of one’s own motivations and openness to a broader perspective is a good starting place for this discussion. Whereas a concrete-lined drainage ditch is highly functional in one world-view, a poorly drained swamp can be highly functional in a different world view. In order to understand rivers we need to be self-aware of our place in the natural order of things.
More funding for water monitoring is critically needed. In our 2012 Global Hydrological Monitoring Industry Survey, we asked over 750 water professionals about the adequacy of their monitoring network …the vast majority indicated that they would need to significantly increase the density of their network to fully meet their program goals.