News from Around the Basin – July 27, 2023

Climate change in the basin, Christmas in July, boat ramp upgrades, free boat rides, and much more in this week’s Potomac News Reservoir.

Potomac River Conference: One River’s Perspective on a Changing Climate

We are excited to announce registration is open for ICPRB’s 2023 Potomac River Conference on September 21 in Lorton, Va. The event will highlight climate change in the Potomac River basin, including trends, regional resilience, government innovations, and implementation. In addition to informative speakers and panel discussions, a poster session will share the latest research on the Potomac River basin.

Click here to see the full agenda and register >>>

Christmas in July

As if in sync

ICPRB and our partners all think

of the holiday season to come

Not with visions of sugarplums

Or jolly fellows dressed in red

But with thoughts of needless piles of winter salt being spread

We admit we are better scientists than poets. We know the science is clear: our rivers and streams are becoming saltier. This has negative impacts for our health, aquatic life, and infrastructure.

There are ways to ensure public safety while still reducing our winter salt use and protecting our waterways. The Izaac Walton League of America is offering Smart Salt Applicator trainings for folks in Gaithersburg, MD, on August 22, and Montgomery County, MD, on August 30. Both trainings are free, virtual, and run from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The events are geared towards winter maintenance professionals, HOAs, business owners, and property managers, so please share the opportunity with your friends and colleagues. Participating organizations have been able to reduce their salt use by 30-70 percent, helping both the environment and their bottom line.

Potomac River Conditions

Last week, we were dead even for our 30 day precipitation average. This week, we creeped down to 0.4 inches below average.

The Potomac River’s flashiness (the tendency for flow to quickly go from high highs to low lows), may be on full display in the following few weeks as dry conditions are tempered by storms blowing through the region.

The National Weather Service Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center predicts less than an inch of rain in most of the Potomac watershed over the next few days, with very little predicted in the headwaters.

As is typical for this time of year, the river flow may soon be flirting with drought monitoring levels of 2,000 cubic feet per second at the Point of Rocks gage. If it falls below that number, ICPRB’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply on the Potomac (CO-OP) will start coordinating with our partners to send daily reports to stakeholders summarizing flow, weather, and demand conditions.

Current flow: 2370 cfs

Median flow: 3070 cfs

90 day precipitation: -1.4 inches