Water Year

This month marks the beginning of what hydrologists refer to as the new water year.   October is used as the beginning of the water year because across much of the United States this is the time of year when water inputs begin to exceed loss to evaporation.  Although our current wet phase has on several occasions allowed for summer precipitation to exceed evaporation, historically, late fall and winter precipitation was an important recharge time for area soils.

Our just completed water year brought 26.85 inches of rain officially to Fargo Moorhead.  The WDAY studios recorded 25.49 inches during the same period.  The main difference between those two reports occurred with the heavy rain event on August 1 that hit the airport much harder than other parts of town.  The 2010-11 water year was the 23rd wettest on record, and fortunately, significantly drier than the 2009-2010 water year that was the wettest such period on record when 32.79 inches of rain and melted snow was recorded.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the reminder Daryl. I forgot this year. In south Florida, the end of our water year is shifted 6 months ahead to May (since our water reach their low water mark in spring, not fall as up north on the continent.)

  2. Daryl Ritchison

    I had to chuckle that I reminded you of the new water year, as I pretty much heard of this concept from you to begin with! 😉

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