NASA satellite in space.

Early in my career, frequent field visits were necessary to wind the recorder clock; flush the intakes; replace the paper chart; and keep the pen ink reservoir full. Modern gauging technology is much more reliable so the requirement for frequent field visits is primarily to obtain rating measurements. Station health can be monitored remotely; data are communicated in real-time; and solid state electronics require little...

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Man collecting water flow data.

Discharge is such a great variable It is so rich in information about everything that has happened upstream and so informative about what will be happening downstream. The dynamics of streamflow are tightly linked to both ecosystem function and economic viability. If only discharge data were real. Beven and Westerberg (2011) argue that “some periods of hydrological data are disinformative in trying to make models as hypotheses about...

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Rock snot.

Didymo is a northern circumpolar species preferring cold, clear water. It is spreading rapidly with the primary mode of dispersion suspected to be contaminated fishing/wading gear. It is a problematic invasive species because it’s effect on the food web of a stream starting with the displacement of common macro invertebrates and native alga. Attempts to control the spread of Didymo include banning felt soled wading boots....

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Stream flowing over rocks through a forest.

How much confidence should you have in your measurements? For a discharge measurement result of 50.0 m3s-1, is the true value is between 49.95 and 50.05, as inferred by the trailing zero?  Maybe the true value is anywhere between 47.5 and 52.5 (+/- 5%), a range commonly used to determine ‘goodness of fit’ to a rating curve. Perhaps the measurement wasn’t made under ‘ideal conditions’, which...

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