Rating the Waterfalls
There is no widely accepted method used to rate waterfalls as far as we know. Based on some criteria set out by the City of Hamilton, we have decided to use three criteria in our rating system. These are the 1) flow of water, (2) the size of the waterfall and (3) the aesthetics of the falls and area. Each of these are ranked as A, B or C and then an overall rating of A, B or C is assigned to each waterfall.
- A is Excellent: To achieve this classification, the waterfall must have a year round flow of water unless this is outweighed by a very strong showing in size and aesthetics.
- B is Good: The waterfall should have a good combination of all three factors.
- C is Satisfactory: The waterfall is receiving a lower score on a number of factors.
1. Water flow
The flow of water seems to be the most important factor people use in evaluating a waterfall. The quantity of water flowing over the waterfall depends on the flow in the feeder creeks. Most of the falls on this site are seasonal in nature. The water flow ratings are:
- A - year round flow of water
- B - Seasonal flow; reduced in summer
- C - Peak storm flow
The second most important factor in evaluating a waterfall is size, in particular the height. Research from various sources indicates that a height of more than 15 m is considered most appealing to visitors. Some say that to be a waterfall, the height needs to be 3 m minimum and the slope at least 30 degrees. However, we have included a few falls with a height of less than 3 m and are not as stringent. After all, a waterfall can exist in the heart and mind of the viewer.
- A - the falls is 15 m high or more
- B - the falls is between 6 and 14 m in height
- C - the falls is 5m high or less
This factor can be fairly subjective but taken into consideration are the shape of the waterfall and rock formation, the landscape setting of the waterfall area, the size of the gorge, the scenery beside the waterfall, and the ability to get a good view of the falls.