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Intro - Mandatory Water Training

How to get your certificate afterwards, and is there a test?

By Robert V. Sobczak

Many have asked:

Am I eligible for an advanced degree (or equivalent certificate, even a plaque) upon completing a Go Hydrology lecture?

Never perfect, always interesting

Good news: The answer is yes.

And even better, it’s all based on the honor system.

Here at Go Hydrology we know that many people like to decorate their walls with commemorative plaques, framed photographs and other paraphernalia that touts who they are, what they’ve done and why they are so qualified. No such wall is complete without a hydrology certificate. Sure, you could go for a Master’s Degree, a professional license, or even get your Ph.D., but not matter how ornately framed any of those certificates, wouldn’t the wall always be a little bit bare without a Go Hydrology certificate tying it all together.

Frankly folks, you can’t be properly educated without updated and locally-relevant water cycle credentials. If you were previously accredited in a water cycle outside of your current watershed or in a different state, it complements but does not replace local water cycle credentials.

And that’s where Go Hydrology steps in to help.

Please print upon completing a lecture

Recent Lectures

The waterman speaks

What I like best about this pitch:

The waterman’s brashness, optimism and salesmanship.

Coming to a train station near you

Some might even say its a borderline con. But the truth is when it comes to getting people to believe you have to be willing to go out on a limb of what’s possible and why it’s worth the risk. In a modern-day world where improvements to the water happen inch by inch, if at all — isn’t it fun to be swept away in a grand vision where everything can be restored. I’m not saying we’ll get it all back.

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More about the speech: For the longest time I never wrote it down, I just memorized it piece by piece. It’s an amalgam of speeches from several movies.

Big Cypress Master Plan?
One hydrologist's view

When it comes to master planning …

Everglades Restoration comes to mind, emphasis on Everglades.

What to do with the Big Cypress?

But what’s about the Big Cypress Swamp? Partly because it was marketed as a “self contained” watershed in the early days of its preservation (i.e. it gets all its water from the sky, so it came gift-wrapped already restored) and partly because it lies outside the traditional boundaries of the U.S. Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District’s Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project and partly because it’s a mysterious place cloaked in a mythology that’s hard to shake, there’s never been a consensus on what should or could be done to get the water right, and why it’s so important for the greater whole.

Until now! In the presentation above, I provide an overview of the Big Cypress Swamp as a sum of its parts and why and where hydrologic restoration may lie ahead.

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Quote: “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau


Short history of the L-28
An old powerpoint, but still timely to share

The problem with the L-28 …

You wont’ find it (adequately) described in the history books.

A narrated power point from 2017

That’s where Go Hydrology steps in to fill the void. You can surf the internet all day long and will (mostly) come up dry when it comes to any literature or relevant information on the modern-day boundary between the Everglades and the Big Cypress called the L-28. The reason? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s one of the most misunderstood and greatest barriers to the effort to restore the Everglades and Big Cypress.

Caveat: I’m not saying this presentation is the best. The power point dates back to 2017, and yes, I could have alternatively let it “collect digital dust” on my computer or just posted the “unnarrated” power point. But really what good would either have done? The better solution was to narrate the power point just as I presented it in 2017. It provides a nice history of the mysterious levee, and goes a long way to unraveling why it was built.

Listening to it in review, I probably should have rehearsed it a time or two, but there is no time like the present and really no excuse not to share, especially when it helps fill the void on a perhaps the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp’s most mysterious levee and canal.

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Misconception: “The L-28 is not the natural boundary between the Big Cypress and Everglades, rather a default line.” Bob says

Intro to the Water Cycle Approach
A step by step guide

Everyone loves the water …

But how do you stay in rhythm with it?

Bob explains the water cycle approach

Answer: It’s called the water cycle approach. In a nutshell, the water cycle serves as proxy and/or handy complement to the seasons. That’s particularly important in south Florida because we don’t have the traditional winter, spring, summer and fall that they enjoy Up North. For one, we don’t have snow. Two, spring is a time of drought not flood. Three, our clouds move the wrong way. The list goes on.

Make no mistake: The water cycle approach works in all climes, and for any watershed. But it also makes sense that it was invented in the Big Cypress Swamp. Why? For one, it took a National Park Service hydrologist to incubate on and implement the idea. Who else has one foot in the water and one in the data as much as me? Two, the swamp has an intermittently hyperactive and dyspeptically dormant water regime. Feast and famine happens every year, without fail. It’s called the wet and dry season. If water is life, the water cycle is also part sport in south Florida.

In my opinion, the water cycle is even more enjoyable (and rewarding) to tune into than your favorite home team. Disclaimer: I am both a Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins fan, although my hometown team and the team I love most is the Baltimore Colts.

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About Go Hydrology: We didn’t invent the water cycle, we make the water cycle better.