It's been a dry year underground, too

scraggly parched lawn

As you've probably noticed, much of the weather this year so far has been abnormally dry. Even though the Albany area had a somewhat-rainier-than-normal August, we're still behind the typical year-to-date rainfall total by more than three inches, or about 12 percent. And maybe you've noticed some signs -- including dry fields and faded lawns.

But what about the water we can't see? The new issue of the Capital District Region Planning Commission's Capital District Data looks at the state of the region's aquifers -- bodies of water stored underground -- and finds they're at unusually low levels, not just because of the lack of rain, but also because of the relatively snow-free winter. A clip:

Long term trends in aquifer water levels show that 4 of the 6 aquifers in the Region are running deficits. These deficits are helped most by long, low intensity, precipitation events that soak the ground. Brief, high intensity, precipitation events cause high levels of runoff as the sudden deluge of water cannot be absorbed quickly by the soil. As a result, the heavy rains of July and August have not had the impact on improving aquifer levels that many would have suspected. If the long term trend of deficits continues for the Region's aquifers, the availability of water for the Region's wells, streams, crops, and recreation, will become increasingly challenged.

The article goes on to explain that the lack of rain stresses these underground water reserves in other ways. For example: Farms aren't getting needed precipitation so they're drawing on wells and ponds, which in turn are drawing on the aquifers, reducing them further.

If we get a typical winter snowfall -- around 60 inches of snow -- that could put things back on track. But: "If, come February, there has not been significant snow accumulation, then local officials may want to consider adopting local ordinances for water conservation in the Spring. These may include, but are not limited to, ordinances implementing day and time restrictions on lawn watering, restrictions on filling swimming pools, restrictions on washing vehicles, and many more."

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Bobby Brown + Bell Biv Devoe at The Palace

Bobby Brown and Bell Biv Devoe are co-headlining a show at The Palace November 2. Tickets went on sale today (September 25) -- they're $39.50... (more)

Dave Matthews Band at TU Center

The Dave Matthews Band is set to play a show at the Times Union Center December 5. Tickets go on sale to the general public... (more)

Morning Blend

Drinking water A state Comptroller's office review of the state Department of Health oversight of public water systems concludes that DOH has not always taken... (more)

Today's moment of autumn

Who doesn't enjoy some mums in September?... (more)

The Albany Book Festival is this coming weekend and it also includes a big list of local authors

A reminder that the first Albany Book Festival is this Saturday, September 29 on UAlbany's uptown campus. The lineup is absolutely stacked with prominent authors,... (more)

Recent Comments

Saturday afternoon walks through Washington Park on the way to the Lionhart pub, to get in those last few enjoyable warmish weather days on the patio while enjoying a seasonal pint of craft brew....yum...

Troy Letter

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danielle Sanzone

Drawing: Oktoberfest Block Party VIP tickets

...has 37 comments, most recently from Jim

Morning Blend for Sep 24

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace

Mapping out the future for an alternative transportation network in the Capital District

...has 3 comments, most recently from ivan vamos

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich