Cape Cod Groundwater Exceeding Record Levels

BARNSTABLE – The Cape Cod Commission is reporting that groundwater totals on the Cape exceeded record levels last month.

A report submitted by Commission Water Resources Director Tom Cambareri states that a 30 percent rise in rainfall over the last six months have raised the water table 2 to 3 feet since January.

“Historically, the aquifer will continue to rise until May and June,” says Cambareri.

Observation wells in both Barnstable and Brewster are already at record levels, wells in Chatham, Truro, and Bourne are in the 90th percentile, while those in Sandwich and Wellfleet are in the 80th.

According to the report, in February the Cape received double the anticipated precipitation.

“The recent wet weather was preceded by a somewhat cooler and wet summer, which contributed more recharge to the aquifer during the fall when water levels typically recede. The stabilized water levels began to prematurely increase in early winter and are approaching record monthly levels.”

“Because all of the Cape’s water resources are connected to our Sole Source Aquifer, the Cape’s ponds are approaching record high levels and our streams and creek are flowing higher and faster,” Cambareri said.

High groundwater levels makes it challenging for storm drainage systems to process runoff potentially resulting in flood conditions, and may lead to less stable conditions for tree roots which have already been weakened by recent nor’easters.

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