Why Don’T Alaskans Melt Snow For Water [Answered]

Have you ever wondered why Alaskans don’t just melt snow for water

As the saying goes, If you’re cold, wet, and hungry in Alaska, you’re probably doing it wrong. And when it comes to staying hydrated in the Last Frontier, melting snow is definitely not the way to go.

Here’s why

So Why Don’T Alaskans Melt Snow For Water?

Why don’t Alaskans melt snow for water?

Because the energy required to melt snow is greater than the energy gained from drinking the melted snow. The process of melting snow requires heat, which in turn requires energy. This energy can come from a variety of sources, such as solar radiation, geothermal energy, or even human-made heat sources. However, in Alaska, the climate is such that the amount of energy required to melt snow is often greater than the amount of energy that can be gained from drinking the melted snow. This is because the temperature in Alaska is often below freezing, which means that the snow is very cold. In order to melt the snow, it must be heated to above freezing, which requires a significant amount of energy. Additionally, the process of melting snow also requires water to be heated, which further reduces the amount of energy that can be gained from drinking the melted snow. As a result, it is often more energy-efficient to simply drink the water that is already available, rather than melting snow.

Why Don’t Alaskans Melt Snow for Water?

Alaska is a state with a long, cold winter. The average temperature in January is -10 degrees Fahrenheit, and the state receives an average of 65 inches of snow each year. So, it’s natural to wonder why Alaskans don’t just melt snow for water.

The Pros and Cons of Melting Snow

There are a few pros and cons to melting snow for water.


Snow is a renewable resource. It’s constantly being replenished by the weather, so it’s not a finite resource like groundwater or surface water.
Snow is free. There’s no cost associated with collecting and melting snow.
Snow is relatively pure. It’s been filtered through the atmosphere, so it doesn’t contain many impurities.


Melting snow takes time and energy. It can take a long time to melt a large quantity of snow, and it requires a lot of energy to do so.
Melted snow can be a health hazard. If the snow is contaminated with bacteria or other pollutants, it can cause illness if it’s consumed.
Melted snow can damage pipes and plumbing. If the water from melted snow freezes and thaws repeatedly, it can cause damage to pipes and plumbing.

Why Don’t Alaskans Melt Snow for Water?

Despite the pros and cons of melting snow, most Alaskans don’t do it for their drinking water. There are a few reasons for this.

The cost of melting snow is often prohibitive for many Alaskans. The cost of fuel to melt the snow, the cost of the equipment needed to melt the snow, and the cost of treating the water can all add up.

It’s often more convenient for Alaskans to use other sources of water, such as well water or municipal water. These sources of water are usually already available and don’t require the time and effort to melt snow.

Health concerns:
There is a risk of contamination with bacteria or other pollutants when melting snow. This risk can be minimized by taking precautions, such as filtering the water and boiling it before drinking it. However, many Alaskans prefer to use other sources of water that are less likely to be contaminated.


Melting snow for water is a viable option for some Alaskans, but it’s not the best option for everyone. The cost, convenience, and health concerns associated with melting snow make it a less attractive option than other sources of water for most Alaskans.

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