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April Water Levels 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: May 7, 2003

Average streamflow and groundwater levels ranged from below normal to above normal across Maryland and Delaware in April, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Baltimore. Groundwater levels rose in April and all the wells used by the USGS to monitor climatic conditions are at normal to above normal levels. At this time last year, all but one well were below normal levels and many set monthly record lows. Groundwater levels are near their annual high and are expected to drop during the growing season. For 5-year hydrographs of groundwater levels, visit: Streamflow conditions have also improved significantly since a year ago. For example, streamflow at Deer Creek in Harford County, Maryland was nearly 4 times higher in April 2003 (166 cubic feet per second or ft3/s) than during April 2002 (46 ft3/s), the lowest April flow for the period of record.

For news release and images, visit:

Streamflow at the end of April ranged from above normal to normal at most USGS streamflow-gaging stations across Delaware and most of Maryland. In western Maryland, however, several stations showed below normal streamflow levels at the end of April, but streams in this region can quickly respond to runoff and recover to normal levels. Streamflow data can be monitored on the web at Five-year monthly streamflow hydrographs can be viewed on the USGS website at

Average monthly streamflow at the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. was 18.6 bgd (billion gallons per day), or 76 percent above normal (see graphs at Total flow into the Chesapeake Bay during March averaged 104 bgd (billion gallons per day), which is 11 percent above average. More information about water and the Chesapeake Bay can be found at

Reservoir storage levels increased in April. Storage in the Baltimore Reservoir System increased to 99 percent of capacity at the end of April. At this time last year, the reservoirs were only at 62 percent of capacity. The storage levels of the Triadelphia and Duckett Reservoirs on the Patuxent River also increased and remain full. Reservoir data graphs can be viewed at:

Streamflow and groundwater levels are used to gauge water conditions and may be used to predict the potential for flooding and drought conditions. These USGS data have been provided to State and local water resource managers and are critical for making appropriate decisions on water restrictions. For more information on streamflow and groundwater levels in Maryland and Delaware, see Water Watch at: Water Watch.

Five-year streamflow hydrographs can now be viewed at:

Groundwater Levels in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Area can be seen at

The USGS, a bureau within the Department of the Interior, is the Nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency providing 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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In-depth information about USGS programs may be found on the USGS home page at and for Chesapeake Bay activities.

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