The ICPRB reports that river flows are continuing to drop - "nearly 2 inches below normal with no relief in sight" in their most recent newsletter and that 90% of the Potomac Basin is currently in Drought. They also predict 6 inches more of snow through the winter season which will help water levels recover but may also bring more salt into waterways. Learn how to be salt smart with their tips.
To say it has been dry is an understatement.
This includes plans to supplement low river flows with water from Little Seneca Reservoir and twice daily reporting on flow rates in the mighty Potomac.
Put simply - we all rely on the River.
The flow of the Potomac River is 665 million gallons per day, water suppliers take 400 million gallons out per day for use in the water and sewer system. That leaves 265 million gallons left over - it takes at least 100 Million gallons of water in the Potomac to prevent the complete collapse of the river ecosystem.
And no rain is forecasted soon.
The ICPRB is the same river stewards reporting that by 2040 climate change could cut stream flows by as much as 35% on an annual average (their 2010 report). Science should inform the region’s planning and goals of resource protection. We can (and must) prepare to live with less water when the data shows that is what is coming.
Nowhere is this more true than in the Ag Reserve. Much of the Reserve is served by an unconfined groundwater aquifer. This is a federally designated sole source aquifer. Wells of local families have run dry in the past when the aquifer was overtaxed.
At the same time the Reserve is often the area of the County considered for new developments. Recently - water hungry Data Centers
America is using up its ground water like there is no tomorrow (NY Times)
DC is preparing to draw on backup reservoirs as drought continues (DCist)