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Water Levels Improve, But Are Still Below Normal

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: March 6, 2001

Water levels for February improved at many sites but are still below average. February streamflow across Maryland and Delaware ranged from 29 percent below normal at the Potomac River near Washington, D.C., to 17 percent above normal at the Choptank River near Greensboro, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Despite improved conditions, adequate rainfall is still needed throughout the spring to maintain sufficient streamflow and Groundwater levels through the summer.

Streamflow entering the Chesapeake Bay during February averaged 41.7 bgd (billion gallons per day), which is 39 percent below the long-term average (see graphs at Below-average conditions have persisted since September 2000. Storage in the Baltimore reservoir system increased by 2 percent to 87 percent of capacity at the end of February.

Groundwater levels increased for many wells and are generally in the normal range for Maryland and Delaware, except for the lower Delmarva Peninsula, where Groundwater levels are below normal. Monthly updates of Groundwater conditions for key observation wells in Maryland and Delaware can be accessed at

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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