Frederick County, Some Surrounding Jurisdictions, Placed Under A Drought Warning

Residents and businesses are urged to conserve water.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Maryland Department of the Environment has upgraded Frederick County and some surrounding jurisdictions from a drought watch to a drought warning. Lee Curry, Director of Water and Science Administration for MDE, says that means groundwater and stream flow levels are “fairly low” based on monitoring.

But he says there’s no reason to panic. “There are no  critical water shortages right now,” he says. “This is a warning stage. This is not an emergency stage. This is warning stage where the department is monitoring this on a more frequent basis. We are working with your local drought coordinators.”

Curry also says no water restrictions have been put in place. But he says residents and businesses should conserve water. “Less frequent lawn watering. Not washing off your driveway at this point. Washing your cars less frequently. Taking shorter showers is another one,” he says.,

Some other simple steps to conserve water are  not to let the faucet flow while brushing your teeth, and only running the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.

In determining a drought, Curry says MDE looks at rainfall, stream flow and groundwater levels. “While we’ve have had more rain, we’re just not seeing groundwater levels and stream flow levels where they need to be at this time,” he says.

The region has been through a summer of extremely hot weather and not too much rainfall, but Curry says that’s going to change. “We are moving into the time of year where we start to see stream flow rise, and groundwater levels rise. . That’s in part due to temperatures falling down some. We have leaves falling off trees and that allows more water to get into the streams and more rainfall to get into the streams and get into groundwater,” he says.

Curry says the drought warning should be lifted within three months.

By Kevin McManus