PA Groundwater Recharge Information Available in User-Friendly Report

March 29, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The month of April is known for rain showers, but a new Pennsylvania Geological Survey report says that the state’s groundwater actually recharges the most during March.

The report, “Summary of Groundwater-Recharge Estimates for Pennsylvania,” was done in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and is available on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Web site at www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/.

“This report is a convenient source of groundwater recharge data for researchers, water resource managers, water scientists and geologists. It provides a general overview of processes affecting groundwater recharge in Pennsylvania and a discussion of estimates of recharge rates,” said Jay Parrish, the state geologist with DNCR. “It’s also a great educational resource because it shows where all of the water that falls from the sky goes.”

Recharge occurs when water reaches underground aquifers. It is typically estimated by measuring factors including precipitation and stream flow.

Areas that receive the most recharge are typically those that get the most rainfall, have favorable surface conditions for infiltration, and are less susceptible to the influences of high temperatures, evaporation and loss through vegetation.

Maps included in the report illustrate patterns of precipitation, temperature, prevailing winds, and the average error associated with recharge estimates.

In an average year, about 40 inches of precipitation – the rough equivalent of 31.5 trillion gallons of water — falls in Pennsylvania. Only about 31 percent of rainfall is absorbed by the land to become groundwater. Of the rest, 52 percent evaporates and 17 percent becomes runoff into rivers and streams.

Eighty percent of Pennsylvania’s recharge occurs from November to May, with approximately 18.4 percent coming in March followed by nearly 13 percent in April.

For more information about geology in Pennsylvania, visit the DCNR Web site at www.dcnr.state.pa.us and choose “Geology” at the bottom, or call 717-702-2073.

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Source: newswire

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