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      Snowpack is important to our useable water needs

      Are you tired of snow blowing? Are you tired of shoveling? Are you just plain and simple tired of the snow? Well, in the short term, youâ??re in luck with our forecasted warm up. But, more importantly, water resource management experts would like to remind us that the snowpack provides us with a valuable resource: water.

      "We rely on water as an essential ingredient in our list of natural resources," says Dr. Peter E. Black of SUNY ESF. "We got to drink it. We got to use it to clean our houses, our roads and streets. And we use it for growth, of vegetable products. And cattle, if they donâ??t have water, theyâ??re going to die.â??

      Dr. Black says the snowpack helps to stabilize the rate at which water enters the lower levels of the soil, and ultimately, our ground water supply. This helps ease the rate of run-off, helping us â??tuck away waterâ??, so to speak, for the drier days ahead.

      So clearly, snow pack is important to us here in CNY; however, our need for snowpack varies from region to region.

      â??Well, in terms of water resources, itâ??s not really critical," explains Steve Shaw of SUNY ESF. "We depend more on consistent amounts of precipitation, rain or snow, but not necessarily an accumulation of snow on the ground. So itâ??s different than say out west, where really out west and arid regions, you water supply is coming from precipitation at high altitudes based in the mountains, where theyâ??ll accumulate tens or more of feet of snow in the winter time. And that will slowly melt into the spring and into the summer."

      Itâ??s safe to say while we may not rely solely on snowpack for our everyday water supply through the year, it is an important component of our usable-water needs.