Central, Eastern Maryland Put on Drought Watch
On Oct. 4, Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) determined that
the Central and Eastern regions of Maryland are in a drought watch
following a review of September drought indicators. Conditions in the
Western and Southern regions remain within normal ranges. Reservoirs
serving the Baltimore City and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
(WSSC) service areas continue to have adequate reserves.
A drought watch is the first stage in the state's Drought Management
Plan. During a drought watch, MDE increases oversight of water supply
conditions and encourages citizens to become more aware of their water
use, and to conserve whenever possible.
Rainfall has been below normal since May 2007, resulting in very dry
soil conditions. Analysis of precipitation totals over the longer term
indicates that rainfall is still within a normal range, primarily due
to abundant rainfall from October 2006 through April 2007. Stream flow
levels for the central and eastern regions are below normal, and
groundwater levels for the central, western and eastern regions are
below normal. The central and eastern regions continue to show stresses
in both stream flow and groundwater levels, which results in the
drought watch designation for these areas. The drought watch covers
Baltimore, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford,
Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and
Worcester counties, except for areas supplied by the Baltimore city or
WSSC water systems.