Maryland counties running dry, showing signs of drought

If you’ve noticed that your lawn or garden is looking a little brown or dry this year, it’s no coincidence. In Maryland, and much of the D.C. region, the symptoms of drought are on full display.

According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, the state is now about seven inches below where it should be for rainfall this year. The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the driest counties in the state are Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s and Charles.

A map shows all of the D.C. region is in a drought, with D0 (yellow) denoting abnormally dry conditions and D1 (beige) denoting moderate drought conditions. (National Integrated Drought Information System)

A spokesperson told WTOP that the department is closely monitoring the groundwater-stream and reservoir levels for the state.

“[The department] does not see any shortfall in the availability of enough water to meet the needs of the state’s residents and businesses,” the spokesperson said.

In addition, the department said it’s beginning to reach out to local governments and public water services to make sure they have enough water, should the drought worsen.

The department isn’t directing water companies to implement mandatory restrictions on water use, but a spokesperson said water conservation is always a good idea.

As a precaution, the department is urging “smart and efficient water use at businesses and in and around the home.”

Ways you can conserve water include taking shorter showers, turning off faucets in between washing hands or dishes and buying gallons of water.

Anne Kramer

Anne Kramer first joined WTOP as a freelance news anchor in 2022 before taking on the afternoon drive. Before coming to the Washington area, Anne spent 25 years working as a news anchor and reporter for WBAL Radio in Baltimore.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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