ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 21, 1999) -- Declaring that last week’s rainfall from Hurricane Floyd had significantly raised water levels throughout the State, Governor Parris N. Glendening today announced that Maryland no longer remained in a drought emergency. Along with making his announcement, the Governor released drought monitoring figures which showed that last week’s significant rainfall from Floyd trimmed the precipitation deficit by over 5 inches, and significantly raised reservoir levels and stream flows across the State.
"The tremendous amount of rainfall over the last few weeks from Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis, along with the heroic conservation efforts of Marylanders, raised our water levels enough to end this summer’s devastating drought," said Governor Glendening. "However, even though the emergency is over, we must remember that water is a precious, limited resource that must be saved over the long-term. I urge Marylanders to make water conservation a permanent, daily part of their lives."
The weekly drought monitoring figures detail the seventh full week of water conservation and water supply measurements since the Governor declared a statewide drought emergency. Last week’s torrential rains from Hurricane Floyd cut the State’s rainfall deficit by over 5 inches, to 2.6 inches. During the previous week, the rainfall deficit stood at 8.0 inches.
The rainfall also pushed stream flow levels up to above-normal highs. Most rivers throughout the State ran at above-normal flows.
Water capacities in the State’s reservoirs rose throughout most of Maryland. Reservoir levels climbed significantly in the Baltimore metro area, where the overall capacities rose to 50 billion gallons, up from last week’s level of 39.7 billion gallons.
Last week, Marylanders continued to voluntarily conserve water, as water consumption averaged 12.5% below the five year average. The previous week had seen an identical 12.5% drop in consumption.
While the Governor declared that this summer’s drought was over, he cautioned that forecasters were still uncertain about whether the long-term drought cycle had been broken. Following through on his announcement several weeks ago, the Governor stated that he would soon appoint three task forces to make recommendations for future ways to conserve water. The task forces will develop a long-term approach to water use; address the issue of water loss by local systems; and develop a regional approach to water issues.