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Snowpack water hack

Groundwater’s potential recharge

Mar. 2, 2017 –  Don’t forget winter snows when considering the water cycle! The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) March 1 Soils Matter blog post explains how winter snowpack helps recharge groundwater.

Snow cover in Sierras“Snow accumulates in the winter and then feeds streams, rivers, and groundwater in warmer months,” says soil scientist James Hartsig. From there, it’s all about timing and rate as the snow melts.

Slowly melting snow soaks through thawed, semi-moist soils by infiltration. “This ‘surface infiltration’ also aids in supplying plant roots and micro-organisms with much needed moisture for spring growth and soil fertility,” says Hartsig.

Frozen or saturated soils results in water flowing over the soil as runoff. “This process can lead to environmental damages,” Hartsig says, “including soil erosion and sedimentation along the water’s path to lower ground.”

To read the entire blog post, visit

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The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.