Water year resolutions

This is a neglected week of the year:


Everyone’s either thinking back to the year that was,
Or looking forward to the new year that will be.

All mixed up together a bittersweet blend of memories, regrets, well wishes and – last but not least:

A list of new year resolutions.


What are my resolutions you may ask?

At issue for me, as a hydrologist, is that on the very day that we turn the page on a new “calendar year,” the “water year” is already 3 months old.

The North American “water year” runs from October 1st to September 30th of the following year.

Why the discrepancy?

Up on the continent, fall marks the water cycle’s low-water ebb. Rivers and creeks recede to a trickle of their spring selves, with ponds and aquifers gravitating down to the bottom of the staff gage barrel.

That makes October a convenient place to start the “water year” anew.


That convention doesn’t work so well down here on the south end of the Florida peninsula.

October is our peak water season:

Wetlands are filled to their brim, water ways are funneling waters to the coast, and storms are beckoning from the topics.

The water cycle is in full gear.

For us, May would be the more logical month to start our water year anew:

It’s the month that wetlands dry down and dry up, 

And also the same month that the meteorological switch is flipped back on for the summer showers to begin.

Thus, in conclusion,
And to answer the question:

As a south Florida hydrologist, I save my resolutions for the start of the “water year,” which in south Florida – at least as I track it – is the start of May.


That being said, as a hydrologist with continental roots, I would like to wish everyone smooth sailing in all your respective water ways and watersheds – wherever that might be, in the upcoming “calendar year” that is 2009. 

Click here to see more ABC Wednesday images from around the world. This week’s letter was “x,” which you can see if you look closely a the photo of the fallen tree.
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