Hydrology Corner Blog: Hydrologist

Is 49 Years Long Enough?

I have had the great pleasure of several decades of overlap of my career with that of Lynne Campo who retired on June 28th after 49 years of hydrometric data management for the Water Survey of Canada (WSC). I first met Lynne as a novice stream hydrographer in 1981 when I was sent to Vancouver for training in the art and science of hydrometric data processing. In a few short days Lynne laid out the foundation for the rest of my career.

water infrastructure environment conference

Adventures of a Peripatetic Hydrologist – Water Infrastructure & the Environment Conference

Ray Maynard calls me a peripatetic hydrologist. I had to look it up. There are two meanings: 1) a person who travels from place to place or 2) an Aristotelian philosopher. I think I fit both definitions. Aristotle placed great emphasis on direct observation of nature and that theory must follow fact. I also travel a lot. Whereas I can’t deny this label, I have to wonder if it was meant as a compliment. After all, hydrology is a place-based, observational, science. How can I be a real hydrologist if I am traveling all the time, and hence, not occupied with making direct observations at a place?

The Economics of Hydrometric Data Quality

Data about water quantity and water quality are fundamental to some of the most important decisions made by engineers and in choices made by societies. Abundance and quality of water are critical factors in many aspects of our economy, our environment, and our social and physical well-being. It is the case than multiple water resources objectives must be simultaneously managed. The costs of sub-optimal water resources choices can be substantial. Uncertainty is antagonistic to optimization.

A Hydrologist’s Holiday

A 3-day hike in July on the Wapta Icefield in the Canadian Rockies with my son took us up the Bow Glacier, briefly onto the Yoho Glacier and then down the Peyto Glacier. Bow Glacier meltwater flows into the South Saskatchewan River (146,100 km2). Yoho Glacier meltwater flows into the Columbia River (668,000 km2). Peyto Glacier meltwater flows in the North Saskatchewan River (122,800 km2).

Bruno Tassone’s Invisible Legacy

Stu Hamilton, Vic Neimela, Bruno Tassone, Gord Tofte, and Lynne Campo at Bruno’s Retirement Lunch … this small group has over 178 years of hydrometric program management experience spanning more than half a century. I recently had the pleasure of joining my colleagues, young and old, to congratulate Bruno Tassone on his retirement after 35…

Mitigating Risk for Risk Mitigation: What L’Aquila Means for Water Monitoring

On October 22, 2012, six Italian scientists and a government official were sentenced to 6 years in jail, given lifetime bans on holding public office, and ordered to pay compensation of €7.8m in connection with the L’Aquila earthquake. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake injured over 1,000 people and resulted in 300 deaths. The judgment was based…