News From Around the Basin – June 27, 2024

ICPRB starts Drought Monitoring, swimming in the Anacostia, getting blue catfish on the menu, and more, in this week’s Potomac News Reservoir – June 27, 2024 >>>

River Report – ICPRB Initiates Drought Monitoring

It’s dry. While the low humidity might feel pretty good, our river and groundwater levels are suffering. ICPRB has initiated daily Drought Monitoring. A Drought Warning has been declared for much of Northern Virginia. The flow at Little Falls (see the graph) is between the minimum in recorded history and the 10th percentile.

We had a good winter as far as rain was concerned. Things were looking up after a dry 2023. However, we are now 58% below average for the past 30 days. The lack of rain combined with the high temperatures has created a flash drought situation.

ICPRB and our partners across the watershed are monitoring the situation. When flow of the Potomac River at the Point of Rocks USGS gage dips below 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), the staff at ICPRB’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP) initiates daily drought monitoring. This means that CO-OP staff prepare a daily report with flow, water demand, and weather forecasts on behalf of the CO-OP water suppliers: Fairfax Water, Washington Aqueduct, and WSSC Water. This is a requirement of the Water Supply Coordination Agreement of 1982, which is a pivotal planning document that helps ensure the DC Metro area is well prepared during a drought.

Follow the conversation across social media platforms using #droughtmonitoring.

There is a little rain in the forecast, but even if we get some rain, grass and other vegetation will still be dry. Firefighters are encouraging everyone to be safe and smart when it comes to their 4th of July celebrations. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professionals, but if you are going to have your own rocket show, celebrate responsibly:

🌾 Avoid setting off fireworks in areas with dry vegetation

🌊 Have a hose on hand in case of sparks

🧨 Place spent fireworks in a bucket of water

🎆 Happy 4th of July! 🎆

What to celebrate this week: National Catfish Day (June 25)

A national holiday since 1987, this day commemorates the whiskery fish that is found on every continent except Antarctica. Although there are native species of catfish that deserve honoring, the blue catfish does not warrant celebration. It is increasingly becoming a problem as an invasive species in the Potomac and other Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

One way to address invasive species is to put them on the menu. Departments of natural resources are working to make them more appetizing to help fight this invasive species that eats everything from rockfish eggs to crabs.

Put blue catfish on your menu with these creative recipes!

On October 17, ICPRB will be hosting a conference on addressing invasive species—2024 Potomac River Conference: Reeling in the Challenge of Aquatic Invasive Species. Sign up to get notified once registration opens >>>

ICPRB in the Community

We have a few spots left for Saturday’s Walk in the Woods: Mussel Power with Anacostia Watershed Society! Join ICPRB and Anacostia Watershed Society to learn about their work restoring this important species.

Find even more fun activities on our Events Calendar > > >