Egu 2024 Flowgatta Poster2

WaFFFling, Fee-Oh, and EGU FlowGatta ’24

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Figure 1: The area of Fathomland around Coelha Amphitheater has been busy as of late.

The last few stragglers shuffle into the Coelho Amphitheatre in North Fathomland.
“Heare ye! Heare ye! Let the Towne meeting begin!” shouted Mayor Lawrence1. “Sit down back there!” she demanded of the raucous group of Rolf’s Marauding Band of Hydrotechs.

“We have a long agenda to get through! Hey! Hey! Stop giving those strangers gifts!” She pleaded, “Please he’s not asking for assistance..!”

Ga Nu Zitten!” Mountain Man Steven Weijs boomed, shaking the timbers and chairs, and silencing Rolf and his Merry Folke.

“Thank you, there’s been a lot of activity in the WIT Portals this last moon cycle, we’ve all noted it.” (crowd murmuring)

“Wally walks among us! HE HAS RETURNED!” Paul Saso of the the Sasoteck Observatory stood and implored those around him. “We must listen to his visions, he speaks of drought! He speaks of floods! He speaks of the P50!”

“Yes, Yes Dr Saso, We understand the implications of his return, but let’s go through each of these portents one at a time. First, this WaFFFling Tool we’ve all seen in the night sky, right there…”

  1. After founding Shannonshire2, Dr. Lawrence waded into municipal politics and is always surprised by the antics some interest groups employ to get their message across.
  2. Shannonshire is an idyllic commune in South Fathomland where data is shared without licensing agreements, the resources are managed by consensus, and there’s a large communal dance and feast every Friday. Also, 4 day work week, and shoes optional policy in every taverne.

1.0 The WaFFFling Tool

Wafffling Tool 21
Artist’s rendition of the WaFFFling Tool

The WaFFFling Tool is the newest edition to the growing Tool Bag in the WIT Portal, formerly known as the Salt Portal, and actually, still known as the Salt Portal in some corners of Fathomland. The Watershed Information Tool (WIT) Portal is what we hope the online Hydrometric Database Management system to become, The WIT can currently manage time-varying hydraulically valid rating curves, time series data, any flow measurement, and now Gauge Level Checks (GLCs) allowing us to track physical reference measurements against datalogger measurements. Along with the Water Allocation and Prediction in Ungauged Basyns (Wally) tool, the WIT is a full Bento Box of Umami Goodness.

The Water Filtering Fitting and Filling (WaFFFling)tool is designed primarily to filter out noise, extend salt dilution tails, and estimate salt dilution rising limbs, however the methods and interface to do so could easily be applied to any water data such as hydrographs or temperature signals. Let’s go through a few examples. A full discussion and explanation of the tool is here.

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Figure 2. In this example, a trace was ended prematurely, however it has been shown from analysis of completed SDIQs, that extending the tail beyond 50% of the total transit time only adds up to 3% error to the final SDIQ value. The tool can extend the signal on either side of the peak, remove aeration noise, or recover contaminated and “essentially lost” measurements such as this Hail Mary AutoSalt injection
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Figure 3. In this example, the very large flow measurement was contaminated with aeration noise and start of the pulse was missed. However, if we pass the SCS Unit Hydrograph model through the peaks of the measured EC.T, we measure a Q that agrees with lower flow measurements. in the rating curve on the right. The uncertainty associated with this method is undetermined, at the time of writing, but it is still better than having no measurement.

2.0 Fee-Oh!

The QiQuac Fee-Oh is the latest edition to the Fathomland menagerie. It is a lower cost system that relies on bluetooth connection to your Android Device for datalogging and display. It has the additional benefit of being able to sync with the Salt Portal, show the SDIQ in greater detail, allow post-processing at site without internet connectivity, and tracks your feelings and GPS location.

Fee Oh Highlander Map 1
Figure 4. Showing the complete Fee-Oh Highlander Salt Dilution kit with 3rd Up/Downstream sensor and 4th T-HRECS DataLogger probe, calibration kit, and interactive Choose Your Own Adventure manuals.
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The Whio cannot measure streamflow, but knows that theirs is changing.

The Fee-Oh Base kit is described here and the highlander kit is described here. Both kits come with a 3 year warranty and license for the WIT Portal to manage your Salt Dilution data, build Rating Curves, and generate hydrographs.. Honestly, let’s be honest here, why would you go elsewhere?

BTW, the Fee-Oh (Whio) is a threatened native species of Blue Duck in New Zealand and Fathom has pledged to donate 2% of profit from the sale of Fee-Oh’s to the preservation of Fee-Oh habitat. We’ve already sent donations and will continue to do so.

3.0 FlowGatta EGU 2024

Egu 2024 Flowgatta Poster2 1
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Figure 5: Bring your special purpose to the 2024 FlowGatta!

As the great poster by Noah Carson above suggests, we are still fumbling towards an (un) sustainable future. It’s difficult to know if what we do makes a difference, but as the Flight of the Hummingbird taught us, we are doing “what we can”. To that end, please join us in Vienna on Wednesday April 17th for camaraderie, shop talke, and SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guesses). Vendors will present NEW equipment, Inventors can show off their Special Purpose, and the Good Hydrometric Folkes can hobnob and snicker at the hydrometric mayhem. Drinks afterwards to ward of impending doom and buffer the senses for Interstellar Hitchhiking (peanuts cost extra).

4.0 Wally Walks Among Us

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Figure 6: Wally out for an evening stroll.

If you are lucky enough to live in British Columbia, there is a re-animated Prediction in Unguaged Basins tool that slouches towards Bethlehem: it’s This tool was started with the BC Ministry of Environment in 2020 to estimate key watershed parameters such as Mean Annual Discharge, Mean Monthly Flow, 20th, 50th Percentile, 7Q10, and other useful numbers in an attempt to estimate water availability for licensing and stewardship purposes. We’ve written about the MkMGR algorithm for estimation of Hydrological Statistics (HydroStats) using GeoSpatial stats. This Modified k-fold algorithm can estimate Hydrostats to a known uncertainty, and delineate upstream drainage areas like its nobody’s business.

Wally is part of the enigmatic WIT-GIS sushi roll, and works fantastic to estimate catchment areas, mean monthly discharge, and other drought stats. It roams Fathomland from 7am to 5pm PST, then rests, or heads to the taverne. Please take him for a ride if you have the time and interest. He could be easily cloned for your country, for a price…

5. 0 Fathomland 3D: Heat Dome

As the misguided continuation of the Fathomland AR franchise, we’ve moved into platform gaming with Fathomland 3D: Heat Dome. This iteration is developed within the Unreal Engine 5 on a small piece of Fathomland real-estate, the Axén Archipelagos. The purpose of this adventure is to rout out unsustainable developers, convert them to eco-warriors, free endentured mud-giants from servitude, and clean up the little runoff rebel, crybaby, in your quest to keep the global Fathomland mean 2050 temperature rise below 1.5oC and prevent the Heat Dome. Along the way, learn about the water cycle, the physics of water, sustainable resource development, folklore, and other fascinating topics. If this gamification of environmental sustainability appeals to you, contact us for further development and deployment ideas! Our current strategy to promote adoption is up to 20% discount of Fathom Products by solving puzzles and defeating baddies. The Figure below shows a few recent scenes from Fathomland.


Mini Island

Inventory Menu

Qi Quac


6.0 QiQuac reaches 100!

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We are moments from rolling over into the next century. However we only have 2 digits, nobody thought we’d ever last this long! What will happen when we hit 3 digits? Will you see digits in your vision ala 3rd Body Problem? Will Ducks fly South in Winter? Will there be a total eclipse of the Sun? Nobody knows.

By the time you read this, we may have already reached this milestone, but as of today, we haven’t yet. If you get your order in soon, you might be the lucky duck who receives this monumental milestone of hydrometric monitoring maelstrom. To celebrate treading water for almost 10 years ! (Jan 2025) we are offering QiQuac refurbishments and Highlander upgrades at heavily discounted prices (depending on your trade-in value and how many IPAs I’ve had that day.)

7.0 EFN Salt Dilution Workshop in Kelowna, B.C.

Gather round, those of ye who remain. We’ve gotten through the riffles and rapids of the meeting, now it’s storytime. Do we still have Quorum? I see Pontiff Jeffery, I see Lewis and John, I see Craig hanging in there, Hutch, Babakaiff’s on his phone. Ah, the Prince Brzoza himself honors us with his presence, m’Lord. Hm, not many womenfolke left at this point, point taken. Oh! There’s Carmen, hi Carmen. Well, let’s on with it.

In the warm winter days of early March, the Guild of Hydrographers led by the Prince of the Lost Mountains himself, Prince Brzoza, decreed a meeting of hydrometricians to learn the ways of Salt Dilution gauging at the NASH Effin’ EFN Salt Dilution Workshop in Kelowna, B.C.. The Dark Lord van der Have with his crew of knights, including Kelly, were present with the latest equipment from Sommer. Ryder and crew from NHC were there with the grey wizard Zimmerman’s Labview kit and custom Fathom-Campbell Sci-Setup.

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Figure 7, Ryder makes his way to inject NaCl onto these skeptical duck’s habitat. Don’t worry, I talked to them afterwards, through the QiQuac, and once I explained what we were doing (measuring flow for better environmental stewardship) they calmed down.

During introductions, the Pontiff Jeffery, took a page from the classic “ArchMage book of Spells and Party Tricks”, swapped minds with me, It was confusing at first, and I immediately wanted a drink, then I started to explore the Pontiff’s body… but before things got out of hand, I was back in my own body, no harm done, unless you count my new love for IPAs harm.. hmm….

After introductions, we collected various SWAGS (Scientific Wild Ass Guesses) of the flow. which ranged from 0.036 m³/s to 1.03 m³/s with an average of 0.228 m³/s.

I setup 5 T-HRECS downstream and 2 T-HRECS upstream of the injection. We made 3 injections, 300g about 400m upstream 2. 200g about 20m upstream, and #3 20g about 400m upstream.

The first injection was intended to be a good reference measurement and indeed all SDIQs were close to the average of 146 lps, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 8. The first injection was 300g about 400m upstream. 5 T-HRECS probes were distributed at the downstream site and agreed within 5.9%, a Grade A result. The second injection was less, 200g, but very close to the Probe site to test the QComp calculation. The third injection was at the original injection point 400m upstream, but with only 20g of salt.

Figure 9. The second injection intentionally did not have complete mixing, but the NaCl was injected across the channel, and the 3 probes on the QiQuac system were placed with ~1/3 of the flow moving through the stream panel in which they were centered. The QComp algorithm gave a value of 169 lps (15% error) compared to the algorithmic mean of 313 lps (214% error)
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Figure 10. The third injection was intentionally very small, only 20g in 146 lps (0.136 kg/cms). While this dosing would probably have been sufficient in very fresh water, below 100 uS/cm, the high background EC.T of 456 uS/cm resulted in unacceptable uncertainty of +/-19% and a Grade C. Also note that there was some strange artifacts in the data contributing to the error.
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Figure 11. The third injection had unexplained rises in EC.T near the tail of the measurement. We used the WaFFFling tool to fill in the tail of the measurement achieve a reasonable SDIQ value.

At this point, the crowd that had assembled dissipated without much fanfare and we reassembled at our gracious hosts office, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) where Pizza and Fanta was served.

Over the sound of humans eating doughy Pizza and sipping Fanta, the results were presented. Several times Pontiff Jeffery, in a neurological game of cat & mouse, tried to once again swap minds. I was ok with it at first, but then Jon started binging on pizza and Fanta in my body. I tried to signal to him to cut it out, but when I saw him take my body to the bathroom I was like “No EFN way!” and I ran him down, in his body, which I have to admit is unusually buff for a Dad-bod.

I threw open the bathroom door and confronted him, I was like “Enough with the mind-swap dude!”

He was like “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jon.”

I was like “Oh no, you can’t pull that on me, I’m Gabe!”

“Well if you’re Gabe, where do you have a mole?”

At this point, Lord Francis van der Have happened to come into the bathroom. Jon (as Gabe) and I (as Jon) stared at him “Hey fella’s” he said awkwardly, as we stared back silently. He reluctantly used the urinal, quietly washed his hands, thoroughly, and left. By that time I was back in my body while Jon smiled smugly at me, as he left.

“Enjoy those calories, by the way,” he snickered and closed the door. I raised a warning finger at him, but he had already left, I chased him down the hallway, but the extra 5lbs of pizza and Fanta slowed me down, and just as I caught him we burst into the large meeting room. All eyes turned to me and the Pontiff. Lord Frank stopped talking mid-sentence, “just staring at each othh..”.

They watched me quietly as I took my seat. The Pontiff smiled at me and said, “Alrighty then, let’s see your results…. Gabe.” and he looked right through, but I could tell he was trying to inhabit my mind.

“Not this time, Jon!” I said and resolutely defended by brain from his intrusion. Lord Frank kindly offered me his chair, seeing my weakened state, to give my presentation while the rest of the crowd sat stone faced and I droned on about Waffles. Still, I maintained control of my person. After finishing, I said “Eat that, Jon!” to which he raised a sarcastic eyebrow and said to his colleague, Saskia “Someone needs an IPA,” and I felt a burning desire to have a drink.

Later at the pub, I joined the rest of the hydrometric crowd and had a fun time talking to Tobyn and Jennelle while we played musical bingo. In the end, I was able to wash away the taint of the Pontiff’s intrusion, and thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening with my colleagues. Our table won Bingo, but all proceeds went to a good cause, and not me and my IPA habit.

In the end, you guessed it, we ALL won even though Kelly took home the laurels for the closest SWAG and I received none of the Bingo winnings. I’ve come to live with my new IPA cravings, at least I tell myself that I’m ok with it. If you’ve ever been possessed by a Pontiff, Cardinal, Bishop, or any of the other Hydrometric Clergy, you can relate to what a strange and unnerving experience it is to inhabit another’s body, and come back to one’s own body to find someone had been living there. Habits have been moved, replaced with new ones; fears and worries aren’t where you left them, you can’t dance anymore, you dream of people and places you’ve never been.

All the rooms, they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who’ve slept there

Tom Waits 9th & Hennepin

I also don’t understand why I felt motivated to put up this painting of the Pontiff in my living room. But I do enjoy sitting, listening to his sage hydrometric words in my head, while grading hydrometric records to RISC standards and sipping a nice hazy IPA.

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Figure 12, The Painting that now hangs in my living room and I can’t explain where it came from or why it’s here.
Gabe Sentlinger
Gabe Sentlinger
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