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January Streamflow and Groundwater Levels Still Low

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

Wendy McPherson (
Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center
5522 Research Park Drive
Baltimore, MD 21228
FAX: (443)498-5510

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Updated: February 8 , 2000

Snowfall in January has had minimal impact on replenishing Groundwater levels and reservoir supplies in the Maryland-Delaware-D.C region, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Baltimore, Maryland. This minimal impact is partly due to a slow snow melt and frozen ground. Groundwater levels at the end of January have decreased throughout most of the area and remain below normal throughout the entire bi-state area. Contents of the Baltimore reservoir system decreased from 61,320 million gallons (61.32 billion gallons) in December to 60,740 million gallons near the end of January, which was 83 percent of average and 88 percent of January 1999. End-of-month contents this time last year were about 69,480 million gallons.

Flow into the Chesapeake Bay was 49% below average for the month of January and was estimated to be about 28.7 billion gallons per day (bgd). Flow into the Chesapeake was about half of January 1999 levels (51.8 bgd) but still more than 2 times greater than the lowest January flow recorded in 1981 (11.5 bgd). January streamflow has decreased in local streams and remains low for this time of year. Streamflow at Potomac River near Washington, D.C. was about one-third of normal (or 37%).

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.

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