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January 2015 Water Conditions Summary

In January, 73 percent of groundwater levels and 74 percent of monthly mean streamflows were normal (between the 25th and 75th percentiles*) at sites used to monitor the response of water resources to changes in climatic conditions in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

Graph showing percentiles for monthly water conditions

Groundwater levels were normal (between the 25th and 75th percentiles) in 73 percent, or 19 of 26 of the wells used to monitor climatic conditions in Maryland and Delaware in January. Groundwater levels were above normal in six wells and below normal in one well.

January monthly mean streamflows were normal at 74 percent, or 23 of the 31 streamgages. Streamflow was above normal at two streamgages, and below normal at five streamgages, although ice may be influencing the rank of streams in western Maryland.

*A percentile is a value on a scale from 0 to 100 that indicates the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it. A percentile between 25 and 75 is considered normal. For example, a groundwater level in the 90th percentile is equal to or greater than 90 percent of the values recorded for that month.

To view more detailed information about Monthly Water Conditions in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, use the navigation menu on the left.

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Current Monthly Water Conditions Report.


Why is it important for the USGS to collect and analyze water resources data?

USGS water data are valuable to the public, researchers, water managers, planners, and agricultural users, especially during floods and droughts. These data can be used to assess how water resources respond to changes in climate. Scientists at the USGS have measured streamflow and groundwater levels in wells to assess water resources for over 125 years.

In addition to providing the most extensive set of historical streamflow and groundwater data available to the public, the USGS collects water data and quality-assures the data by employing standardized techniques across the country. The uniformity of the dataset allows for multi-state comparisons and other comparative statistical analyses that better inform policy makers of the possible water resource conditions they might encounter in the future.

The sites used in this water summary were carefully selected to show the response of streamflow and groundwater levels to precipitation. Ideally, these sites will show minimal effects from human influences. The streamflow and groundwater data are ranked in comparison to the historical record and summarized. Precipitation and reservoir data are also presented to give a more complete picture of the region’s water resources.

 


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