Can you see the S-12A?
How about now?
Here’s an even closer view:
To the left of the red Mack truck.
At first glance, the water table looks simple.
You can touch it with your finger and sure enough it’s wet.
The difficulty lies in understanding where it’s at relative to the suite of hydro-ecological and statistical metrics we measure it by. Case in point is Water Conservation Area 3A in the Everglades. Statistically, it’s a foot below where it normally is for late August and three feet below its high-water crest following Eta. Ecologically, water depth in the sloughs are about 1.75 feet deep but the tree islands are still dry.
That’s relatively rare for WCA3A this late in the summer.
There was a time when the water in the Everglades did whatever it wanted to do. No gates, no pumps, and most of all no time table. It just sat there and flowed, really wherever it wanted to go. Well, not any longer. At some point humans intervened and decided water would obey its rules – turning (or trying to) the Everglades into the Schedule Glades. Not that nature ever listens. Yes, water is a bit of a rebel force. You can domesticate it, but only so much.
Listen to the Audio Introduction
What did Eta do to the Everglades?
It depends what part of the Everglades you mean.
Last time I looked it’s a big ecosystem.
It’s not always possible …
To restore a wetland to exactly how it was before.
Hole in the Donut is the case point.
Once upon a time it was pine flatwoods. That was before it was rock plowed for farming, and before those fields went fallow and filled in with Brazilian pepper, and before efforts were made to get pines to grow back.
The eventual solution was to scrape out the makeshift soil.
That turned it into a herbaceous marsh.
My name’s Water Drop and I’m here to talk about the water cycle.
People always ask me:
“Water Drop, what’s the water cycle?”
It’s kind of a “wetter version” of the change in the four seasons.
The diagram below probably explains it best.
Not that the diagram (now above) is always right!
Take for instance our current situation in America’s Everglades.
Usually January is the drier time of the year, or at least when the water table is trending down. Well, not this year. Thanks to an oddball November storm named Eta, the water table peaked unusually late, in November, and it’s been hanging around at the flood stage ever since.
Here’s a video that explains the storm.
Or if you’re more of a scientific ilk …
Here’s a hydrograph that shows it.
Do you see the big bump? That’s what Eta did.
Or if you have more a historical bent:
The chart below shows the rise and fall of the water table over the decades, almost going back to the year I was born. That’s a lot of water under the bridge if you know what I mean.
What will happen with the water cycle next?
Well really, there’s no telling.
My guess is another interesting turn.
As always and forever yours truly,
Note: Both photos are taken looking southwest and both show the original S-333 in the background (i.e. left)