May 2, 2014

Happy New (Water) Year!

Most people think the new year starts in January,

But for south Florida hydrology the water year starts fresh May 1st.


Effective May 1st, 
the new water year
has begun


Compare that to continental hydrologists who universally ring in the new water year each October.

October is the northern standard because it coincides with the annual ebb of the water table. Fall approximates the inflection point when the steadily dropping summer water table bottoms out and slowly, and sometimes fast, starts to rise ... usually peaking in spring.


South Florida's water cycle is reversed:

Water levels rise (not fall) all summer long, finally peaking in fall during the summer rainy season's end, then followed by the long steady drop of the winter dry season water table which, in its final days of spring, accelerates at a drought defying rate.

Both low-water times
of the year for each area

We still have some dry days ahead of us in May,

But for accounting purposes, the new year has begun.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Bob, thanks for this post. Many in Florida & elsewhere don't know why we choose different year definitions for drought vs flood studies. This helps clarify.

Robert Sobczak said...

Thanks Mike! Good to hear from you. Hope all is well on the Louisiana coast.