Happy New Water Year: AQUALIS Celebrates the Start of the 2022 Water Year
by Erin Zaske, Chief Development Officer
Happy New Water Year
October 1st, 2021 is the start of the 2022 water year!
Nature and the environment provide the perfect time frame to predict time and cycles. Cyclical patterns reflected by nature occur in many aspects like the changing of seasons, lunar cycles, and even water movement. The story is no different for water. The ebb and flow found within the natural water cycle led hydrologists to follow the water year, recognized by the United States Geological Survey, USGS, starting October 1st and ending on September 30th.
The Water New Year was first officially recognized by the USGS in 1911. The concept of the water year is based on the movement of water - or the lack thereof – through the environment. Scientists in the field faced the challenge of monitoring and recording critical hydrological data within the confines of the standard Gregorian solar calendar. Recording meaningful data showed to be a challenge when scientists realized that precipitation that fell in autumn and winter had a postponed impact on local watersheds. Snow or ice identified as winter precipitation melts in spring when delaying its impact on watersheds. The delayed precipitation recording was perplexing because while the precipitation fell in the fall of one standard calendar year, the effect was not felt until the following year's spring. Scientists questioned, should this impact be recorded when the snow fell or when it melted?
To correct this precipitation recording error, the USGS must officially recognize the water year from October 1st to September 30th of the following year. Created to simplify data recording, the USGS started reporting hydrologic conditions based upon the hydrologic cycle instead of our standard solar calendar. Fall was chosen as the new water year because it would allow one water year to capture both the act of precipitation through fall and winter. Additionally, the new water year would impact precipitation through the spring and summer, a single recorded year, something the Gregorian calendar did not allow.
Celebrating the New Water Year
In celebration of the new water year, AQUALIS encourages you to evaluate water's impact on your life and how you choose to interact with water. Are you mindful of your water consumption? Are you doing your best to be an environmental water steward? Even though our actions may not be evident immediately, to AQUALIS, the new water year represents the inevitable impact of our efforts. Small choices you make when interacting directly or indirectly with water will leave an impact downstream. For example, consider developing a preventative stormwater management plan for your business, planting a pollinator garden, or implementing proper inspections of your lift station to aid in proper water management.
Our interaction with stormwater is often the most significant impact on water throughout our lives, but we don't often recognize it due to the delayed effects. For example, you may not realize your impact on water quality as an individual, like when your trash misses the trash can, your car is leaking oil, or even if you fail to pick up pet waste when you walk your dog. However, all those choices negatively reflect in your local waterways, even if not immediately. The next time it rains or snow begins to melt, stormwater runoff will find those pollutants and carry them into local waterways, eventually making people, animals and ecosystems sick. The impact of your choices as property owners and facility managers is felt exponentially on the surface area of your property. Instead of being responsible for a single person's impact on water, property owners and facility managers are responsible for the effects of entire buildings and businesses. Due to this, developing and maintaining appropriate proactive stormwater maintenance can be the difference between protecting your waterways and harming them.
The start of a new water year is an excellent opportunity for you to establish new water year resolutions to improve your water stewardship. Not sure where to start? Explore AQUALIS' Education page to view countless educational webinars and expand your understanding of our impacts on water. No matter your stormwater understanding – from introductory to expert level – AQUALIS offers resources to help you understand your impact on water and how you can be a leading water steward. Happy New Water Year!