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- May 3, 2017The region received some much needed rain during the month of April and as a result almost half of the Basin, especially west of the fall line, is no longer dry. Local reservoirs are full and streamflows in the Potomac are currently near median levels.

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 and the Eastern region.  Areas inside the WSSC service territory in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County are exempt.  As of April 15, the eastern region drought status has returned to normal but the central region drought status remains in Warning.

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 May 1, 2017, VADEQ’s drought watch is still in effect. 

NOAA has designated parts of the Potomac Basin in various drought conditions. The April 25th Potomac Basin Drought Monitor designated areas across the entire basin as:

  • 46% is not dry
  • 30% is abnormally dry (D0)
  • 24% is in moderate drought status (D1)

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