All that snow is good for the groundwater

The winter of 2013-2014 is turning out to be one of the snowiest on record.  

Photo courtesy David R. Tribble/ Wikipedia
Photo courtesy David R. Tribble/ Wikipedia
All this snow is good for making snow angels, snowmen – and recharging aquifers.

 And while it’s a good bet you’re as fed up with the white stuff as we are, there’s one thing you’re probably not thinking about: all that snow on top of the ground is eventually going to go into the ground, in the form of water that will help to recharge aquifers.

To put it simply, while the snow may be unbearable at the moment, it’s going to be a boon for the state’s water supplies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s  (NOAA) weather service is already predicting that 2014 could be largely drought-free for most of the northeast.

 That’s due, in part, to all the snow we’ve had this winter. According to an article on the Penn State Extension website, “ten inches of snow when melted is equal to one inch of rain. So while the initial quantity of water during a snowfall is not as great as in a rain event, it can definitely add up.”

That doesn’t mean it’s all going to be coming up roses in spring: as the Extension article points out, when this snow melts, there’s a good possibility it could cause flooding. It can also carry pollutants trapped in the snow, along with all the salt and cinders that have been used to make our roads passable.

Still, in the long term, the plethora of snow is good for groundwater supplies. Think about that while you’re digging out your car — it might just make it a little easier.