D.C. region’s water supply secure despite hot, dry summer

The Potomac River supplies most of the drinking water to the metro D.C. area. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – It’s been a pretty hot, dry summer. But so far, the drought that’s affecting much of the U.S. has not threatened the Washington region’s water supply.

Supplies in most of the region are about normal, mainly because of the region’s largest drinking water source — the Potomac River.

“We’re very lucky here with the Potomac River,” says Stuart Freudberg, director of environmental programs at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

“Ninety percent of our folks get their water from that system and it’s very robust.”

Freudberg says C OG continues to monitor water levels and there is some concern about lower levels in some small water systems.

In Culpeper, which is outside COG’s coverage area, the town’s primary reservoir, Lake Pelham, has lost more than 1.5 inches a week for the last month, according to Culpeper Operations Manager Chris Hively.

He says some water use restrictions may be necessary in the near future unless there is significant rainfall soon.

Lower rainfall, evaporation from high temperatures and water usage have all contributed to the lower water levels in Lake Pelham.

If needed, the town can drain water from Mountain Run Lake into Lake Pelham to increase the water level.

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