Sometimes things don’t allow a nice recipe to be produced and followed as guided in a rigorous design. There are usually competing points of view about how things should be done or there simply isn’t sufficient budget to do an ideal project to show what is needed to protect water and biota in aquatic habitat or to restore a fully functioning river or lake or reservoir or coastal fiord. This is the real world.

It is also a world where design has greatest power. Often there are alternative ways of answering water management questions. We look at those alternatives and offer solutions within constraints, always focused on what design will address client needs. Design is everything.

Design is defined by questions being asked. For example, “Does changing flow release from a dam make any difference to the food web that supports fish”. We take those questions and consider statistical tests and models that would be needed to answer the questions and defend the answers. Work is then laid out to show data needs over space and time. In this way design is a recipe. We know what is needed to make the final presentation. Design gets us there. It is the most important step in a project. If it is faulty, everything else falls apart and questions may not be answered very well or won’t be answered at all. Not good. What is good is time taken to think about all aspects of the project so that results are unequivocal and don’t end up in controversy after the fact. The simpler the layout leading to little debate means greater certainty around decisions by the client when using experiment and monitoring outcomes. This simplicity and certainty drives Limnotek projects. Few stones left unturned or more correctly, fewest variables left unknown means common ground among beliefs and understanding between people making decisions.

Let’s do more designs together to answer your questions