News from Around the Basin – June 15, 2023

Click here to see the full Potomac News Reservoir.

ICPRB Begins Daily Drought Monitoring

On Monday the low river flow activated daily drought monitoring by ICPRB’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply on the Potomac (CO-OP). This happens when the gage at Point of Rocks, MD, dips below 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). During active drought monitoring, CO-OP staff provide a daily update to partners about the flow, weather, and water withdrawals within the basin.

The graph shows Potomac River’s adjusted flows at Little Falls (black line) dropping into the lowest we’ve seen in recorded history.

In the case of really low flows in the Potomac, CO-OP staff will work with partners to coordinate releases from upstream reservoirs (Little Seneca and Jennings Randolph) to supplement the flow and provide sufficient water to downstream water suppliers.

Learn more about ICPRB CO-OP’S Drought Monitoring and Operations > > >

Check out our recent Facebook post to see the graph with data about how common it is for the river flow to reach the drought monitoring threshold.

At this point, we do not predict a call for voluntary water restrictions for folks in the Potomac watershed. However, it is always a good idea to conserve water, especially during the dryer summer months. Small changes in daily habits can lead to big changes in water use.

Simple actions you can do to conserve water:

🚽 Fix leaky pipes.
🚿 Take shorter showers.
🌱 Choose native plants for your landscaping.
🥕 Capture and reuse water from activities like washing vegetables or waiting for the water to warm up. This water can be used to water plants or to clean.
🚰 Brushing teeth? Washing hands? Doing dishes? Turn the faucet off when you are not actively using the water during these daily activities.

Current Potomac River Conditions

The river flow is slightly above the level that triggers drought monitoring. However, CO-OP staff will continue daily monitoring as the level is relatively low for this time of year. Monitoring will continue until a significant increase in flow occurs.

Only 0.25 inches of rain is forecasted for the basin over the next few days according to the NWS Mid-Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC). It is expected the precipitation deficit will continue to increase over coming weeks. (Graph: USGS gage at Point of Rocks.)
Current flow: 2090 cfs

Median flow: 5540 cfs

90 Day Precipitation: 4.7 inches below average

Upcoming ICPRB Business Meeting

The ICPRB will virtually hold its third quarter business meeting on June 21, 2023. Commissioners will be updated on ICPRB’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Statement, the successful Comprehensive Plan 5-year review process, and discuss the process for revising the Strategic Plan. The public is invited to view the virtual meeting. You can reply to this email for more information on how to attend.

ICPRB in the Community

Join us this Saturday for a meet and greet with creek critters at the Frederick Master Gardener’s Earth Awareness Day in Frederick, MD.

We are hiring!

We are hiring for an Outreach Program Manager position. The application period closes on June 30. Learn more on our Jobs page > > >

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out our Events Calendar for fun activities!