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Maryland Recognizes Drinking Water Week 2013 What Do You Know About Your H2O?

BALTIMORE, MD (May 7, 2013) - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers is encouraging Marylanders to help protect the precious water resources that provide safe and adequate drinking water. Drinking water is vital to our public health and to the economy in Maryland. Maryland is building on its successes in fulfilling the public health goals of the Safe Drinking Water Act and, to mark Drinking Water Week, is renewing its commitment to provide safe and adequate drinking water for all Marylanders. This national observance, established by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), highlights the value and role of water in our daily lives. Governor Martin O'Malley has proclaimed May 5-11, 2013, Drinking Water Week in Maryland.​

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During Maryland Drinking Water Week, we recognize the importance of protecting and preserving our precious water resources, and acknowledge the value and fragility of one of our most important natural resources. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is responsible for ensuring that public drinking water systems provide safe and adequate water to all existing and future users in Maryland, and that appropriate usage, planning and conservation policies are implemented for Maryland's water resources. This commitment is accomplished through proper planning for water withdrawal, protection of water sources that are used for public water supplies, oversight and enforcement of routine water quality monitoring at public water systems, regular onsite inspections of water systems and prompt response to water supply emergencies. MDE’s activities help to ensure safe drinking water for more than 5.4 million Marylanders.

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Join AWWA in celebrating drinking water this week.

Core Facts
  • Of all the Earth’s water, most is ocean or sea (97 percent). About two percent of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable. That leaves a little less than one percent of the Earth’s water suitable for drinking water.

  • Only 7 percent of Maryland is covered by water.

  • Maryland’s drinking water comes from surface water (lakes, rivers, reservoirs) or groundwater (water pumped from underground aquifers).

  • On average, Maryland receives about 42 inches of precipitation a year, which helps to recharge and replenish water resources.

  • 5.4 million Maryland citizens are served daily by more than 3,400 public drinking water systems.

  • On a daily basis, every Marylander relies on these public water systems (whether large or small) to provide a safe and dependable supply of water for drinking, cooking, washing, manufacturing and industrial use, lawn watering or growing vegetables.

  • The biggest water users are municipal (public) systems, power plants and agricultural users.

  • Marylanders pay around four cents a gallon for drinking water from the tap versus nearly $1.50 per gallon of water at the store.

  • In Maryland, 86 percent of the population receives water from a public water system that is inspected, monitored and regulated by MDE.


"Water is our most valuable natural resource. MDE is committed to protecting and providing all Marylanders with a safe and clean drinking water supply. I encourage all citizens to assist MDE in our mission by protecting our waterways from pollution and practicing water conservation, so that future generations are able to enjoy the same high-quality drinking water."

-- Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

Additional Information
MPT Video: Maryland Drinking Water: The Journey from Source to Tap



Samantha Kappalman

Jay Apperson


MDE Mission
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.