Environment

Current Drought Conditions

As part of the Metropolitan Washington Water Supply and Drought Awareness Response Plan, COG issues monthly drought reports from May - October. COG also encourages wise water use throughout the entire year - visit the outreach and education website for water conservation tips.

Summary of Conditions- April 5, 2017
Drinking water supplies remain sufficient in metropolitan Washington despite dry conditions. Local water authorities report that Potomac and Occoquan River flows meet the region’s drinking water supply needs and local reservoirs are full.

At the end of February 2017, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a drought warning for central Maryland areas outside of the WSSC service territory.  Areas inside the WSSC service territory in  Prince George’s County and Montgomery County are exempt.  On March 20, 2017, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a drought watch for Northern Virginia public and private water supplies using groundwater and private water supplies using surface water. Water systems using the Potomac River or Occoquan Reservoir are not affected at this time  As of April 3, 2017, both the MDE drought warning and DEQ drought watch were still in effect. 

NOAA has designated parts of the Potomac Basin in differing drought conditions. The March 28th NOAA Potomac Basin Drought Monitor Report designated areas across the entire basin as:

  • 43% is not dry
  • 24% is abnormally dry (D0)
  • 27% is in moderate drought status (D1)
  • 6% is in severe drought status (D2)

Driest conditions are primarily located in the District and Montgomery, Fairfax and Prince William Counties.  Abnormal dryness has the potential, depending on the amount of spring rains, to slow planting and growth of crops or pastures. 

COG will continue to track conditions and provide updates throughout the month.

Regional Water Supply and Drought Status Reports
COG's Regional Drought and Water Supply Status Outlook 
COG's CAO Drought Primer 
ICPRB's Water Supply Outlook
Virginia -  VADEQ Current Drought Conditions
Maryland - MDE Current Drought Conditions

Current Drought Monitor and Outlooks
US Drought Monitor 
Palmer Drought Index/Crop Moisture
Climate Prediction Center - Precipitation Outlooks

National Weather Service Short Term Weather Forecast - Washington, DC
National Weather Service Short Term Weather Forecast- Martinsburg, VA

Current River and Ground Water Conditions
Potomac River Flow at Little Falls
Potomac River Flow at Point of Rocks
Groundwater Levels for the Potomac River basin

Current Precipitation Information
National Weather Service - Precipitation Departures
Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport Precipitation 
Dulles Airport Precipitation 

Wise Water Use Tips for Outdoor Use - Lawn Care and Maintenance
Wise Water Use Tips 
Wise Water Use Landscaping and Watering Guide