b'Watersheds: Pathways to Our WaterwaysRain and snow falling on Chatham average 44 inches of fresh water each year.The precipitation either is absorbed by the plants and trees at the surface, percolates through the surface layers and recharges the aquifer, runs offthe surface directly into our estuaries and ponds or evaporates back into the air.Other sources of recharge to the aquifer are septic systems and drain-age from impervious surfaces.The ground water in the aquifer moves laterally out to our ponds and estuaries.Freshwater ponds, marshes and estuaries are destinations for all the ground and surface water fl owing through each watershed.The wa-tersheds associated with each estuary and freshwater pond are shown on the fi gure below.Locate your home on the map and trace the path your groundwater takes to the coastline.Groundwater typically discharges into a pond on one side and the pond water recharges the lens on the other side.As ground-water fl ow reaches the coastline, it discharges directly into the estuary as fresh water seepage.Because of this interconnection, all uses of waterwhether for drinking, swimming, boating, shellfi shing, or fi nfi shingare dependent on maintaining the quality and quantity of water in the aquifer.Barry Commoners First Law of Ecology states that: Everything is connected to everything else.Whatyou do on your land may have widespread impact beyond the boundaries of your property. We all live upstream! Page 13bluepages.indd 13 8/26/2009 1:49:29 PM'