1999 Flow Into Chesapeake Bay Lowest Since 1960s Drought
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Wendy McPherson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center
5522 Research Park Drive
Baltimore, MD 21228
Updated: January 6, 2000
Streamflow into the Chesapeake Bay for the year 1999 was the fourth lowest annual flow for the period 1951-1999, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Annual flow into the Bay for the past 49 years has averaged about 50.2 billion gallons per day (bgd). Flow for 1999 was estimated by USGS hydrologists at 34.6 bgd, or 31% below average. Only 1963, 1965, and 1966 had lower flows at 33.8, 31.6, and 34.4 bgd, respectively. Cumulative streamflow into the Chesapeake Bay is estimated by using data collected by the USGS near the end of each month from index stations on the Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers.
According to the Cheasapeake Bay Program, the low-flow conditions resulted in higher salinity levels in the Bay and lower dissolved oxygen in the creeks feeding the Bay. The higher salinity caused oysters to suffer because of a greater incidence of the diseases Dermo and MSX, which are favored in higher salinity years. The lower dissolved oxygen resulted in fishkills in the upper parts of the tidal tributaries including the Magothy River, Pocomoke River, and creeks draining into the Baltimore Harbor. More information can be found on the Chesapeake Bay Program's website at http://www.chesapeakebay.net.
Flow returns to normal lately
Recently, streamflow for the month of December increased from November at index stations throughout Maryland and Delaware, and remains in the normal range. Contents of the Baltimore reservoir system increased from 57,640 million gallons (57.64 billion gallons) in November to 61,320 million gallons near the end of December, which was 85 percent of average and 97 percent of December 1998. However, Groundwater levels at the end of December have decreased and remain in either the normal or below normal range throughout most of Maryland. Eastern Shore Groundwater levels fell slightly and remain in the below normal range.
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation and the economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.
** * USGS * * *
- 01-06-2006 Water Resources Plentiful at End of December 2005; Chesapeake Bay Flow Normal in 2005
- 07-06-2005 Water Levels Fall as Summer Arrives
- 04-06-2005 March 2005 Water Levels Near Normal
- 03-04-2005 Flow Below Normal in Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay
- 02-07-2005 January 2005 Water Levels Normal to Above Normal
- 01-07-2005 2004 Ends with Normal to Above Normal Water Levels
- 12-04-2004 Water Levels Remain Generally Above Normal
- 11-04-2004 Dry October Causes Water Levels to Drop
- 10-06-2004 Highest September Flow to the Chesapeake Bay Since 1937
- 09-03-2004 August Hurricanes Raise Water Levels in Southern Maryland
- 08-06-2004 Localized Flooding in Northeastern Maryland and Delaware in July
- 07-07-2004 Water Levels Normal to Above Normal in June
- 06-04-2004 Streams Return to Normal Levels in Maryland and Delaware during May 2004
- 05-06-2004 Streams Rise to Above Normal Levels in Maryland
- 04-07-2004 Streamflow and Groundwater Levels Fell in March 2004
- 03-04-2004 Streamflow and Groundwater Levels Normal to Above Normal in February 2004
- 02-04-2004 Cold, Dry January Leads to Drop in Water Levels
- 01-06-2004 Wettest Year Leads to Record-High Water Levels Including Third Highest Flow to Chesapeake Bay in December and 2003
- 12-04-2003 More Record-High Water Levels in November 2003
- 11-04-2003 Record High Groundwater Levels in October 2003
- 10-03-2003 Flow to Chesapeake Bay in Water Year 2003 Second Highest Since 1937
- 09-05-2003 Third Consecutive Month of High Flow into the Chesapeake Bay
- 08-06-2003 Flow into Chesapeake Bay near Record High Levels
- 07-07-2003 Record Breaking High Water Levels in Maryland and Delaware
- 06-06-2003 Streamflow and Groundwater Levels High in May
- 05-07-2003 April Water Levels Normal
- 04-05-2003 Water Levels High in March - Water Restrictions Lifted
- 03-05-2003 Exceptionally Wet February Leads to High Water Levels
- 02-06-2003 Maryland and Delaware Streamflow and Groundwater Levels Remain Normal in January 2003
- 01-07-2003 2002: A Record-Setting Year for Low Groundwater Levels - Water Levels Recover to Normal in December 2002
- 12-01-2002 Hydrologic Drought Wanes as Water Levels Rise
- 11-01-2002 Water Levels Rise Across Maryland and Delaware, But Drought Persists in Some Areas
- 10-03-2002 Water Levels Remain at Record-Setting Lows
- 09-05-2002 Groundwater in Parts of Maryland Reaches Lowest Levels Since 1962, Despite Late August Rains
- 08-06-2002 Drought Conditions Lead to 10 Record Low Monthly Groundwater Levels in July
- 07-03-2002 Record Low Water Levels Show the Effects of Long-Term Hydrologic Drought
- 06-04-2002 Groundwater Levels Reflect Long-Term Effects of Drought
- 05-02-2002 April Showers Not Enough to Raise Groundwater Levels
- 04-05-2002 The Drought in Full Bloom: Low Water Levels Result in Water Restrictions
- 12-03-2001 Record Low Water Levels Set in November
- 11-02-2001 Dry October Leads to Low Water Levels
- 10-05-2001 Water Levels Low in Northern Maryland
- 09-07-2001 Water Levels Stable in August
- 08-06-2001 High and Low Water Levels in July
- 07-06-2001 Water Levels Continued to Improve in June
- 06-06-2001 Needed Rain Helps Avert a Drought in May
- 05-08-2001 Water Levels Still Normal in April, but More Rain is Needed
- 04-05-2001 Spring Rains Help Water Levels
- 03-06-2001 Water Levels Improve, But Are Still Below Normal
- 02-06-2001 Streamflow Still Low in Maryland in January
- 01-05-2001 Streamflow to Chesapeake Bay in 2000 Reflects Dry Autumn
- 12-05-2000 Streamflow in Maryland Beginning to Show the Effects of Lack of Rain
- 11-07-2000 Despite Lack of Rain October Water Conditions near Normal
- 10-06-2000 September Water Conditions Above Normal in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 09-08-2000 August Water Conditions Above Normal in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 08-07-2000 July Water Conditions Continue Normal in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 07-07-2000 June Water Conditions Normal in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 06-06-2000 Water conditions begin to decline in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 05-05-2000 Water Conditions Continue to Improve in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 04-07-2000 Water Conditions Continue to Improve in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 03-07-2000 Water Conditions Improving in Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.
- 02-08-2000 January Streamflow and Groundwater Levels Still Low
- 01-06-2000 1999 Flow Into Chesapeake Bay Lowest Since 1960s Drought