Why pay if you can get it free? A simple and profound question in today’s e-world where there is so much that is free and so much that is expensive. I ask this question because I have just been alerted to a free course on groundwater modeling. It is on the Dutch Portal for International Hydrology. This is what they say of their course:
Interested in groundwater modelling but nor sure how to start? In the framework of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, and of World Water Day, the Netherlands National Committee IHP-HWRP (UNESCO & WMO) is happy to offer a free groundwater modelling course for starters. The course has kindly been developed by Dr Kick Hemker, MicroFEM, Amsterdam.
This is not the only free course on groundwater modeling on the internet. Two others that I am aware of are:
- Ground-Water Modeling by Dr. Eileen P. Poeter. I have done her course; I have never met her; I wish I could.
- Groundwater Modelling to Assess the Impacts of Proposed Natural Resource Activities. This e-document put out by the BC government is as ponderous as its title. More than 400 pages of information that would make a German philosopher proud. I had a hand in its production: I failed to persuade the generators of vastly-long text to cut & trim. Still it is comprehensive and focussed on mining (maybe.) I know they are working to trim & tighten and make it an EduMine course. Maybe a year or two hence.
Then there are the expensive ones, including:
- Groundwater in Mining. This is an EduMine course I wrote a while ago. It goes through the basics of groundwater theory and practice as applicable in the mining industry.
- Groundwater Modeling for Mines and Mining. Another EduMine course that I wrote with Bernard Brixel. This course is an introduction to groundwater modeling in the context of mining. It includes most of the stuff in the BC guidelines, but in abbreviated, assimilable format.
Thus back to the question: why pay when other resources are free?
Many free courses are damn good and worth the time & effort to read. I recommend that you access them and read them. But if you pay for a course, such as those on EduMine you are getting the best. From personal experience, I know the EduMine folk demand edit and focus; they put the whole in a totally usable format; and they keep it up-to-date. There is no substitute for professionalism and perfection: you are going to have to pay for it.
Let me know your contrary opinion.