News from Around the Basin – October 12, 2023

Drought monitoring is back, but there is still lots of good news in the basin in this week’s Potomac News Reservoir 💧 Oct 12, 2023.

**SPECIAL NOTICE: We want rain, we were just hoping it wouldn’t come this Saturday morning for our Walk in the Woods in Frederick, MD. Unfortunately, the Frederick hike has been rescheduled due to the rainy forecast. Please stay tuned for a new date. You can still sign up for future Walk in the Woods on our Eventbrite page.**

The River Report – Drought Monitoring Continues

Unfortunately, we are falling into dry conditions, again.

Due to low flows in the Potomac River, ICPRB’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP) reinitiated daily drought monitoring last week. Low flows on the South Fork of the  Shenandoah River prompted the town of Front Royal, Virginia, to enact mandatory water conservation measures while other areas are still requesting voluntary water conservation.

During drought monitoring, CO-OP staff provide a daily report of weather conditions, river flow, and water demands. If flows drop further, staff will kick into a higher gear with Drought Operations, providing a twice-daily report to water suppliers and evaluate the need to release water from our upstream reservoirs.

Follow the daily drought monitoring report using the hashtag #droughtmonitoring on Twitter/X.

Water Supply Outlook

The final Water Supply Outlook of 2023, was published last week. The Washington metro area has an above-normal probability of releases from its backup water supply reservoirs this season. Additionally, groundwater wells have been slow to recover from the dry summer and spring.

Most importantly, the report notes that currently the river’s flow is adequate to meet the water demands of the region without requiring releases from upstream reservoirs. The region has drought-contingency plans to ensure water supply reliability and prevent shortages.

ICPRB’s Dr. Moltz elected chair of a national organization for water policy

ICPRB’s director of program operations, Dr. Heidi Moltz, has been elected as chair of the board of directors of the Interstate Council on Water Policy (ICWP).

“I am honored and excited to collaborate with ICWP members to improve water resources management and planning policy nationwide. The ICWP mission to enhance the stewardship of the nation’s water resources aligns with our mission to protect and enhance the waters and related resources of the Potomac River basin through science, regional cooperation, and education,” says Dr. Moltz.

Dr. Moltz directs the water resources, aquatic life, and water quality programs at ICPRB, including overseeing the 2023 5-year review of the Potomac Basin Comprehensive Water Resources Plan.