The World Economic Forum has ranked the Global Risks for 2018. With the single exception of cyber-security, water is a key factor in the seven other top-ranked high-impact and high-likelihood risks.
Water has always been important. The perception of its importance is closely linked to episodes of too much, too little, or the wrong quality. Climate change, urban growth, and agricultural intensification are just three examples of pressures that are contributing to an unprecedented global awareness of the importance of water.
There is a hidden cost behind the reliance on spreadsheets that is invisible to those who are dependent on them. Most people use spreadsheets for multiple purposes, so using spreadsheets to manage water data seems “free” relative to the cost of purpose-built software for data management. A National Public Radio Podcast about spreadsheets was recommended to me by colleagues at the CWRA conference in Lethbridge last week.
Inattention and imperfect information costs individuals, organizations and society in immeasurable ways. The relatively new field of information economics (infonomics) is revealing that great efficiencies can be gained by managing information as a strategic asset. All business decisions are made with the information available at the time. Yet, this availability is often a result of desperate scraping of whatever data happens to be readily accessible in real-time resulting in sub-optimal business outcomes. The new insight emerging from the study of infonomics is that decisions can be materially improved by anticipating needs and nurturing the information required to meet those needs.
Stream hydrographers from all around Oceania gather for the biennial Australia Hydrographers Association Conference, which was held this year in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Water monitoring is a place-based activity meaning that hydrographers are widely dispersed all across the landscape with very little opportunity to interact, build community, share experiences, and develop best practices.
The most passionate people involved in the water monitoring industry all care deeply about the preservation of traceable provenance for their data. To people on the outside this can seem like an indulgence that adds a burden of work to the data management process with little apparent benefit. The benefit is ‘verifiable truth’, a distinction with little value. Until it matters!
In the United States, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) defines endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range… “ and critical habitat as “the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species … on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection.” However, when the Endangered Species Act talks about conservation it refers to instruments such as: “research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation …” Those instruments may have been the best available at the time but times have changed.
Happy holidays from all the contributors here at Hydrology Corner! It’s been another busy year at Hydrology Corner with more than 30 insightful and important discussions on a range of topics, from Uncertainty and the IoT, to Captain Kirk piping Water from Seattle to California and the Zombie Apocalypse.
Rob Vertessy CEO of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) gave a very engaging keynote address this morning at the Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium in Hobart Tasmania. Dr. Vertessy is an unusual choice Director of Meteorology at BOM in that his PhD is in fluvial geomorphology. I personally think his background complements and enhances the power of meteorological analysis by way of his ability to clearly articulate processes that are active across many time-scales.
Hydrology is the science of sciences. There is no science that is as dependent on the other sciences and there is no science that is so fundamental to every other science. In fact, it is rarely the case that you would find a dedicated department of hydrology in any university, yet some aspects of hydrology…
September 17, 2015 – Canadian Business and PROFIT have ranked Aquatic Informatics as the 274th fastest growing company in Canada.
Much has been said about the water-energy-food nexus. The implication of many of these discussions is that we cannot disentangle policies for food and energy from each other because these sectors are inextricably linked by water. The nexus actually has many dimensions: you can add health, safety, economic activity, environmental sustainability, and social justice to…
Water Monitoring is a Public Service. We are borrowing pristine water from the environment to serve our economy. We repay the environment with too little, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with degraded quality. How much water we can borrow? What are the terms of reference for repayment in order to maintain…