Piloting a 256-meter (839-foot) cargo vessel into port is always a delicate operation, and it doesn’t get any easier with swift currents and stiff winds cutting across the narrow channel. Or fog. Or driving rain.
Silver Springs—a network of two dozen or more springs in central Florida—bubble up through central Florida’s Karst formations, limestone beds that have been carved by acidic groundwater and rain into baroque networks of caves, channels, domes and tunnels. Channels in the matrix flow with underground rivers and provide quick conduits between surface water and shallow groundwater. As domes collapse and sinkholes form, ancient paths are rerouted beneath the surface.
The hunters recognized the changes. A shot seal would usually float, buoyed by its blubber atop the dense saltwater of Canada’s Hudson Bay. Now the seals were sinking below the surface before the hunters could reach them. Polynyas, the open patches of sea surrounded by ice, were freezing over with brittle, clear ice, often with little warning. Beluga whales were being trapped beneath the floes, cut off from their surfacing holes. Arctic eiders, the diving ducks whose down is a source of warmth and commerce for the Inuit, were trapped on the ice, dying like flies.
The Bagmati is both a sacred river and a city sewer, running through Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu before heading into the mountains and over the Indian border. Since 2013, thousands of volunteers have gathered along the Bagmati for weekly river clean-ups on Saturday mornings, and the 100th cleaning event on April 11, 2015 drew more than 100,000 locals to the river’s banks.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) awarded YSI Integrated Systems and Services (a division of Xylem Inc.) a contract for five marine monitoring buoys that will collect high-quality data for researchers studying climate change in the Caribbean Sea, including the waters of Barbados, Belize, The Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago.
Mixing and dilution of effluents discharged into the ocean is an important aspect of health of ocean users and the ecology of the denizens. In an effort to monitor the path of wastewater making its way in to the Pacific water off of Oahu, the EMM2000 Buoy has been selected as a measuring tool for the discharge of pipe effluent (sewage water) 800ft off shore to ensure that the wastewater discharge was in fact moving away from shore to avoid affecting local beaches.
These are not easy times to run an irrigation district in California. Honing its efficiency, protecting its workers, working to comply with new water measurement regulations and facing a year of drought, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) is staking its future on accurate flow monitoring and automation.
It’s hard to picture just how flat Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin is, but picture this – tens of thousands of square kilometers braided with slow-flowing rivers and streams with virtually no fall in their channels. Amid the tangle is Colombo Creek, a modest stream with a slope of just 31 meters in 60 kilometers (about 3 feet per mile). With such a flat profile, the backwater effect of confluences, fallen trees, slumped banks and even algal blooms can dramatically impact flow and affect accuracy of rating curves.
An ambitious plan to turn back the hands of time by nearly a century on the Elwha River in northwest Washington State is being carefully studied by stakeholders on other river systems where long-standing dams may someday be breached. Dismantling two concrete hydroelectric dams built in the early 20th century requires careful planning, skilled execution, and close attention to the flow of water that will nurture the reemergence of the river’s salmon population.
Webb’s work with his Jag Ski – named in honor of University of South Alabama’s Jaguars – offers insight into the dynamics of the Mobile Bay estuary, the performance of structures designed to repair the barrier island at the mouth of the Bay, and the potential of the PWC as a research tool.