ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 18, 2002) – In light of recent rainfall and wintry conditions, Governor Parris N. Glendening today announced that he is lifting the drought emergency declaration for the Eastern Shore and is relaxing water use restrictions that have been in place in Central Maryland since April.
The central region of the State, which includes parts of Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel counties served by the City of Baltimore’s water system, will now move from Level Two to Level One water use restrictions. The drought emergency declaration and water use restrictions are being lifted for the eastern region of Maryland.
“The droughts of this year and 1999 have taught us that we can no longer take water for granted in its use or management,” said Governor Glendening. “Despite the relaxing of some restrictions, citizens are encouraged to continue taking steps to conserve water in their everyday activities. By repairing leaks, installing low-flow fixtures and appliances and adopting smart water use habits, we can save thousands of gallons of that precious, necessary natural resource.”
Level One restrictions were implemented in the central region April 5 and were increased to Level Two in August as conditions continued to worsen. Level Two restrictions were also implemented on the Eastern Shore on August 27 when conditions reached emergency levels in that region.
Abnormally cool temperatures and plenty of rain during September, October and November have brought relief from the drought conditions Maryland has been experiencing for most of the year.
Although the overall status for each region is “normal,” some individual indicators remain outside the normal range, requiring some restrictions to remain in effect.
Ground water levels have been rising steadily since early October and have reached normal levels for every region, except for some wells in the central region.
Baltimore City’s reservoir system remains just over 50 percent full. The reservoirs are normally about 75 to 80 percent full at this time of year. On November 21, Baltimore City discontinued withdrawal of water from the Susquehanna River. Since January, the city had pumped water from the Susquehanna River to supplement its reservoirs.
Rainfall is in the “normal” range for the western, eastern and central regions of the State. The southern region is still experiencing a shortage, and rainfall is in a “watch” stage. Streamflows were at or above normal across the State throughout November.
For more information about drought status and the Level One restrictions, visit the Maryland Department of the Environment website at http://mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/droughtinformation/Pages/index.aspx, or call the toll free drought hotline at 1-877-4-DROUGHT.