Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 20, 2003) -- Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today lifted the level one drought emergency in Baltimore City. Level One mandatory water use restrictions are no longer in effect for areas served by the City of Baltimore’s water supply system. Restrictions have been in place since August 27, 2002. The restrictions prohibited citizens from using water for a variety of activities including washing their cars at home and watering their lawns.

“As we have learned during this drought, water is a very precious resource that must be used wisely. I encourage citizens throughout Maryland 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,” stated Governor Ehrlich.

Water storage levels in Baltimore City’s reservoir system increased by nearly 13 percent between February 17 and March 3, 2003. The reservoirs are now about 85 percent full and contain more than 61 billion gallons of water, which is close to normal storage levels for this time of year. Additional snowmelt over the next few weeks is expected to further increase storage levels in the reservoir system.

Precipitation, ground water, and streamflow levels are all above normal at this time. This year’s drought was among the worst in the past century, more serious than water shortages experienced in the 1960s. Stream flows and ground water levels at many locations in the central region set all-time record lows.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will continue to monitor hydrologic conditions on a monthly basis. Information regarding drought status as well as a full list of water conservation tips are available on the MDE website at: