Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 24, 2001) -- Continuing his commitment to improving the lives of Marylanders while aggressively protecting the environment, Governor Parris N. Glendening today signed an Executive Order establishing a water conservation goal of 10% for State facilities. Guided by previous experience, the Governor is also encouraging Marylanders to take steps to conserve water in their daily lives.

"By protecting our resources we are also protecting our high quality of life," said Governor Glendening. "With lower than normal rainfall this year, we are closely monitoring for possible drought conditions and strongly encouraging Marylanders to take simple steps to reduce water consumption. We know that if everyone makes an effort to conserve water it can have a significant impact and ensure our State’s future economic and environmental health."

State facility water conservation will be phased-in, beginning with a usage reduction goal of 7% by 2003; 8% by 2005; 9% by 2007 and achieving 10% by 2010.

The Executive Order also requires a water use audit at all State-owned and leased facilities, including an inventory of all water fixtures and other water devices. Follow up water audits will be required every year and flow meters will be used to determine compliance with water use goals.

Each State agency will also be required to submit water conservation plans to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) by October 1, 2001. The plans must include the purchase of water-efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances when new or replacement products are needed; the timely detection and repair of leaks in plumbing; and installation of efficient landscape design and irrigation techniques.

1.4 billion gallons of water are used everyday in Maryland, with the average home using about 250 gallons a day. If all Marylanders reduced their water usage by the same 10% as State facilities, it would be enough to provide water for 440,000 homes daily. The Governor outlined simple steps citizens can do to conserve water:

  • Repair leaky faucets, toilets, or pipes
  • Replace conventional faucets and showerheads with water-efficient ones
  • Install an automatic shut-off nozzle on your garden hose
  • Landscape using drought-tolerant plants, like the Black-eyed Susan
  • Mulch your flower and vegetable beds to reduce evaporation
  • Clean sidewalks, decks and other surfaces with a broom instead of a hose
  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Only run your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load
  • Keep your shower to five minutes or less
  • Water your garden in the morning when evaporation is lowest

For more conservation facts and tips for homes, businesses, farms and industries, log on to the MDE website at

The water conservation Executive Order is the latest in a series released this spring that have set aggressive new standards for the protection of the environment and the quality of life for Marylanders. Previous orders set new requirements for the State to purchase minimum amounts of "green" power, as well as created a task force to develop progressive new standards for "green" buildings. All these measures put Maryland on the cutting edge of environmental protection and make the State a national leader for discovering ways to protect both the economy and the environment.