Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 14, 1999) -- Governor Parris N. Glendening released drought monitoring figures for the sixth full week of the statewide drought emergency that showed that last week’s rainfall significantly raised stream flows and trimmed the state’s rainfall deficit. Although the rainfall improved drought conditions across the State, reservoir deficits eased only slightly, and the State continued to experience an 8-inch precipitation deficit. Governor Glendening praised Marylanders for continuing to voluntarily conserve water and cutting their consumption by 12.5% last week. The Governor also announced that all Maryland farmers who applied for drought assistance under the State’s emergency plan will receive relief, which will allow nearly 140,000 acres of drought-ravaged farm fields to be replanted this fall.

"Although the drought continues to ease throughout the State, Maryland remains in a drought emergency," said Governor Glendening. "I am gratified that Marylanders continue to make water conservation a daily part of their lives, and last week voluntarily cut their water usage by 12.5%. I am also pleased that we are able to give relief to all Maryland farmers who applied for emergency drought relief, which will enable them to replant their crops for next year, and will help Maryland preserve our precious agricultural heritage."

The weekly drought monitoring figures (attached) detail the sixth full week of water conservation and water supply measurements since the Governor declared a statewide drought emergency. Last week’s rains from the remnants of Hurricane Dennis trimmed the State’s rainfall deficit to 8.0 inches. During the previous week, as of September 4, the rainfall deficit stood at 8.9 inches.

The rainfall also pushed stream flow levels up to above-normal highs, to an average of 136.5 percent of normal flow. Last week, stream flow levels ran at 44.8% of normal. Both the Susquehanna (149% of normal) and the Potomac (430% of normal) ran at above-normal flows.

Water capacities in the State’s reservoirs climbed slightly throughout much of Maryland. However, most of the State’s reservoirs, particularly in the Baltimore metro area, remained below normal capacities.

After the previous week’s brief increase in consumption after the lifting of mandatory restrictions, water consumption declined throughout Maryland. Last week, Maryland’s water consumption averaged 12.5% below the five year average. The previous week had seen a 10.5% drop in water consumption.