The last 2 weeks have had a mini-flood of emails to my office along the lines of "I'm a graduate student at (school) and I need to know (unknowable fact)." Most of these emails come to me for answering. Oh, joy.
--where the funding for the USGS stream monitoring comes from (OK, that one's knowable and easy, but it was another student request)
--total volume of ground water available for Georgia (can't be done in any meaningful way...maybe he just wants an arm-waving number, but I don't have that either)
--maps that show surface water and ground water sources for Georgia and Nevada (define source: big enough for man to withdraw water from? For what purpose? Does quality matter? And Georgia's aquifers are often stacked, so drawing one map is complicated. For Nevada, go talk to the Nevada Water Science Center....)
and a follow-up, because I was so helpful on that one: aggregated annual or monthly water quantity data by state by county (or even just by state), perhaps over the last 50 years, on:
3) Major Rivers
4) Reservoirs (Volume and Evaporation Rate)
A non-student one from yesterday was "How do I know if I have "Waters of the State" on my property?" (I ducked--it's a legal issue, probably depends in part on why they want to know, and I'm not going there. Referred to the State.)
Then there's the one from a consultant (hey! she's getting paid by someone else to get this information) who sounds a little like "can you do my homework for me? It's due in 2 hours, so hurry!"
--the hydraulic conductivity of groundwater at a site near Dalton, GA, historical data or otherwise.
and adds: Is there any way that someone could PLEASE help me find this information out as soon as possible?
(No. We have no hydraulic conductivity data for that area, for any aquifer. There wouldn't be a single hydraulic conductivity anyway unless the site only affects one aquifer, which wasn't mentioned in the email. Tell your client they need to pay for an aquifer test if this piece of information is important.)
Maybe most of the class assignments have been handed out at this point...