ICPRB’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP) was established in 1979 to serve as a cooperative technical center on water resources in the Potomac basin and on coordinated use of Washington metropolitan area water supply systems and reservoirs (click here for resolution to create CO-OP). The Section consists of ICPRB’s District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Federal Commissioners.
CO-OP played a key role in the development of the Water Supply Coordination Agreement of 1982. Under this agreement, the area’s three main water suppliers, Fairfax Water, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), and the Washington Aqueduct (a Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers) make more efficient use of available resources by coordinating water supply operations during droughts, with assistance from CO-OP.
- During droughts, CO-OP may request releases from regional reservoirs to ensure that minimum environmental flow requirements and water supply withdrawals can be met.
- In non-drought years, CO-OP conducts an annual Drought Exercise to keep operations crisp.
- CO-OP conducts water supply reliability studies every five years, to ensure that the Washington metropolitan area's future water needs can be met.
- At the beginning of every month, April through October, CO-OP publishes a Water Supply Outlook & Status.
- As part of its 2010 Washington Metropolitan Area Water Supply Reliability Study, CO-OP completed a study on the potential impact of climate change on the metro area water supply system (click here for climate change factsheet, or full report).
Drought monitoring status: Not Active
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