Washington, D.C. – The drought "WATCH" that was put into effect on October 3, 2007 by the Drought Coordination Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has been lifted and the region has returned to the NORMAL stage of the Regional Water Supply and Drought Awareness Response Plan. Since the WATCH was declared, regional water resource conditions have improved thanks to recent precipitation and gradual improvements in ground water observation well levels throughout the Potomac River basin. These changes, along with citizen and businesses efforts to conserve water, have helped to reduce demand on the region's water supply systems. However, citizens are still being encouraged to use water wisely as there still is some risk that the regional drought conditions could return this summer.
"We want to emphasize and encourage the public to use water wisely as we approach the growing season, when demand for water increases," said Drought Coordination Committee Chair and Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin. "Limiting the watering of lawns, plants and shrubs, using a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways, repairing leaking toilets and faucets, reducing shower length to under 5 minutes, turning off water while brushing your teeth or shaving, and washing full loads in dish and clothes washers are all simple ways to save water. We urge everyone to follow these common-sense guidelines all year long." Officials will continue to monitor conditions and will take appropriate action should conditions change.
Overall, the flow in the Potomac River is currently running at long-term average levels and well above current water supply demands. Water reservoirs constructed in the early 1980s to provide water supply during droughts are also full. Water supply reservoirs in the regional Potomac system, the Occoquan, Rocky Gorge, and Triadelphia, are all within planned operating levels. Other water supply reservoirs such as Lake Manassas and Beaverdam Reservoir, although not full, are once again within normal planned operating levels.
A detailed list of wise water tips can be found at www.wisewateruse.com.
For COG’s water supply and drought page: http://www.mwcog.org//environment/planning-areas/water-resources/drinking-water-and-drought-monitoring/