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February 18th, 2011
Environmental Law Centre
“Water worlds” and nutrient management policies:
recent isotope hydrology studies may have significant policy implications
Jeffrey McDonell, a hydrologist from Oregon State University and this year’s Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, was recently in Alberta presenting on recent research in isotope hydrology. It quickly became apparent how isotope hydrology has changed our understanding of hydrology and also how much policy may have to play catch up with science if some recent findings are found to broadly apply. Isotope hydrology uses isotopes of oxygen (Oxygen-18 and deuterium specifically) to look at how water acts after rain events and how these precipitation events contribute to stream flows.
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