Water Testing During a Drought?
Today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable weather has dominated our news feeds and impacted our daily lives. From full destruction to everyday inconvenience, extreme weather is undoubtedly a headline story. Yet while it makes for a bold story, weather extremes do not necessarily eliminate industry needs and regulatory requirements, which means that, for Waterborne’s scientists at least, the show must go on. Nowhere is this more evident than within our Field Studies work, where our teams have had to solve client challenges while working alongside Mother Nature’s awesome power. This has begged the question, “How does one conduct water testing when drought has reduced or eliminated waterways”?
To start, Waterborne’s scientists are extraordinarily resourceful, especially when faced with the knowledge that our clients depend on them. Through collaboration with our Innovations team and each other, our Field Studies scientists have tapped into their problem-solving bags of tricks and applied that collective experience and expertise toward the development of new technologies and custom equipment. The subsequent new tools, such as specialized low-stream gauges or on-demand receptors, have created viable water testing scenarios amidst drought conditions.
Deploying new technology is one of many solutions. Sometimes an answer can be found by adapting existing sampling techniques to new weather situations. Existing instruments can yield important data and keep a project moving forward through customizations and recalibrations based on the changing environmental conditions.
Adjusting methodologies such as lowering or raising thresholds or changing geographic ranges can allow sampling to continue in drier situations. Our scientists can collect accurate, usable project data by making equipment adjustments on the tools used to measure different temperatures, wind speeds, soil, and water itself and applying that data to a revised calculation.
While it would be nice to wait for more favorable weather, today’s environment proves that waiting is not always an option. Our world’s extreme weather appears to be our current and near-future norm, meaning that the need for adaptive testing is becoming increasingly a priority. Our scientists can make these adaptations through innovations and ingenuity and turn nearly dry fields or creek beds into usable water testing sources. Each new situation provides our Field Studies and Innovations teams with an opportunity to develop novel solutions, and it’s exciting to watch their innovations at work!