But ICPRB says it’s nothing to worry about now.
Mather Gorge, Potomac River (Photo from Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin)
Rockville, Md (KM) The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin is doing daily monitoring of the river now that the flow has fallen below a certain level at the monitoring station at Point of Rocks. Spokesman Curtis Dalpra says there’s no need to be concerned as the Potomac River’s level usually drops during the fall season.
“And the fact that it’s happening this late in the year kind of makes it even less probable that we would ever need to do an upstream reservoir release that would provide adequate water for both the river and the water utilities,” he says.
The Jennings Randolph Lake which straddles the border between Maryland and West Virginia, and the Savage River Reservoir in northwest Maryland, can release water if the flow gets extremely low. Dalpra says so far that’s not happened. He also says none of the utilities which use the Potomac River as a water source have called for conservation measures.
Dalpra says the water usage usually drops during the autumn. “A whole lot of our potable water supply is used for things like lawn watering,” he says. “Of course, we’re at a point where there’s less of that going on.. So water utilities generally see decreased usage in the cooler fall weather.”
The region received a lot of rain in September, mostly due to the remnants of Hurricane Ian which came through. But Dalpra says that really didn’t have much of an impact. “The Potomac is really pretty flashy river, and it can go from low flows to high flows in a matter of days because of the type of storms we get here.” he says.
Dalpra says on average, the Potomac River’s flows at Point of Rocks measures at 7-billion gallons a day. But right now, it’s averaging at 300-million gallons daily.
“I Know no one who is calling for any sort of conservation measures. It’s just a low flow, and this is something we do” Dalpra says, referring to the daily monitoring of the Potomac River when flows reach a certain point. l “An added benefit to going through this enhanced monitoring it’s a way for the utilities and ICPRB water managers to practice communicating with each other on a daily basis.”
By Kevin McManus