Setting the Water Table
A good kitchen table discussion about the water

Everyone loves the water …

But what’s the best way to get in touch with it?

Kitchen Table Hydrology

That’s where the water table comes in. And no, I’m not talking about sitting around a table made of water or solid ice. I’m talking about being knowledgeable of where the water table is at in the places it matters and the water bodies we aim to fix.

The water table is a conversation starter for a range of water topics

What is the water table? It’s a layman term we give to the height of the surface of a water body. Most commonly it is used to describe the level of the underlying ground water. And unlike a river that moves fast (and in many streams at the rapid runs) you can actually see the water surface moving down in elevation like a run of stairsteps — the ground-water table is almost completely flat. The same can be said for most freshwater lakes and wetlands. The water table moves up and down, but also stays flat.

In the Big Cypress Swamp, there’s a little bit of a wrinkle. Over a very large scale, the land surface is slanted towards the coast. That causes the water table to slide every so slowly downhill in a phenomenon called sheet flow. If you’ve every watched a snail travel a great distance — that’s about it’s pace.

The water table never stays long in one spot

Finally, going back to the title of this post — Setting the Water Table — you can’t have a kitchen table discussion about the water without other parameters, too. Knowledge of flow rates, flooding duration, water depth, soil moisture and water quality composition go hand in hand in having a conversation about the water. But for our purposes, the water table is the best place to start.

As for the best drink to enjoy at the water table, I recommend water. The main course and dessert should also be water, too.

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