Residents are still urged to conserve water.
All that rain we received over the past few months has apparently made a difference. The Maryland Department of the Environment has lifted the Drought Watch for Central Maryland, including Frederick County. "The state is all normal except for the eastern region. It remains in Watch Status," says MDE spokesman Jay Apperson.
The Department put Central Maryland under a Drought Watch in May, after a winter of almost no precipitation, which didn't recharge the groundwater and the streams very much. But the rains that came later on that year help alleviate the Drought Watch conditions. "As of mid-September, actually, we were still in Watch status for that particular indicator, that being groundwater," he says. "But that was the only one in Watch status. We'll continue to evaluate that. But right now with rainfall and stream flow considered normal, and reservoirs in the area normal, we're giving it the overall status as normal."
When MDE determines whether to issue a Drought Watch or Warning, it considers rainfall, stream flow, groundwater and reservoirs.
Even though the water situation is back to normal, MDE still encourages residents to conserve water whenever possible. "Making sure all leaks are repaired. That you're using water-saving appliances," Apperson says. "There's lot of things everybody can do. Even when we're not in a Drought Watch status, we should all be trying to conserve water whenever possible."
Apperson says MDE will be keeping an eye on any precipitation that occurs during the upcoming winter, and how it will affect the state's water situation. It's not hot in the winter, and when it rains or snows, the water doesn't evaporate and instead trickles down through the soil and into the water table. "Building up a good storehouse of water over the winter is very important for what you see later in the season," he says.