Todd River near Alice Springs - Frank weber

The Other Extreme – Part 2: ‘Nothing’ Matters

In ‘The Other Extreme – Part 1: the Measurement of Absolutely Nothing’ I presented an argument that the difference between ‘exactly zero flow’, and ‘nowhere near enough water to generate flow’ can be important from a water resource management perspective. We rely on discharge data to inform us about water availability. This reliance is based on an assumption that discharge data represents information both about the hydrology upstream of the gauge as well as hydraulic conditions downstream of the gauge. Zero flow marks the point of departure between this assumption and the truth. Now I would like to further expand … Read More

Todd River Boat Race - Frank Weber

The Other Extreme – Part 1: the Measurement of Absolutely Nothing

Most conversations about extreme measurements focus on flood flow. However, I recently had a conversation with Emily Huxter about her thesis research focused on understanding stream ephemerality through the characterization of timing, duration, and spatial distribution of zero flow. Sounds easy so far, after all I used to call these measurements ‘windshield measurements’ because I could do a zero flow measurement without getting out of the truck, sometimes without even stopping. It turns out that zero is both a difficult and important number. Consider a v-notch weir with the water level exactly at the very bottom of the notch. A … Read More


World Water Week

Water has provided me personally with some of the most amazing experiences of my life. As I sit here in Peru overlooking the ocean on World Water Day I can’t help but reflect on my own relationship with water and the experiences I had. I have always been drawn to water. I have always loved being in it and around it and have made my career measuring it, in one way or another. Water has provided me personally with some of the most amazing experiences of my life. I could never have known what water would give me. Unfortunately not … Read More

Water Data Management, Hydrological Monitoring, hydrological data, hydrological methods, hydrology, hydrology blog, hydrology corner, water data, Monitoring, Rating Curves

St Patrick’s Day, Hydrology & Dyeing the Chicago River Green

Everybody loves to celebrate St Partrick’s day: dressing in green; drinking green beer; and ever since 1961, dyeing the Chicago River green. That was the year the city began enforcing water pollution controls and green dye was used as a tracer to confirm the sources of illegal discharge. The effect the fluorescent dye on the river was noticed and somebody had the idea to commemorate

Keystone XL Pipeline

Monitoring Needed as “Science” Endorses the Keystone XL Pipeline

In a bold move, Marcia McNutt, the Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine, one of the world’s top scientific journals, endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline late February1. The controversial pipeline, designed to transport heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands to US Gulf coast refiners, has been mired in controversy over its potential ecological and climate impacts. McNutt, who headed a US federal agency until 2013 and was a science advisor to the Obama administration, has taken a surprising position on the controversial project. “The absence of Keystone XL has not stopped the development of the Canadian oil sands.” Acknowledging that her position … Read More

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