The Eastern Shore is in drought warning stage, according to a report released by the Maryland Department of Environment.
Under a drought warning, people and businesses are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use, with the goal of reducing water usage by 10% – 15%. Should conditions worsen the Governor may issue an executive order to change the status to emergency stage in which case all restrictions would become mandatory.
According to MDE, stream flows are in emergency status, groundwater levels are in warning status, and the rainfall indicator has moved from watch to warning since mid-month. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the lower two-thirds of Maryland’s eastern shore in severe drought..
During a drought watch, MDE increases oversight of water supply conditions and encourages citizens to become more aware of their water use and to conserve water. During a drought warning, local water systems should implement water conservation measures. Residents and businesses should also look for ways to reduce non-essential water usage. Local water systems, municipal and county governments can require water-use restrictions at any time due to local conditions, but MDE is not at this time aware of any local jurisdictions implementing voluntary or mandatory restrictions due to conditions.
Maryland’s central region is in drought watch, but requires only an improvement in groundwater levels to return to normal status. The rest of the State remains in normal status.
MDE’S TIPS FOR SAVING WATER INSIDE THE HOME
Approximately sixty percent of total household water supply is used inside the home in three main areas: the kitchen, the bathroom and the laundry room. Follow these tips to reduce water use indoors:
Make sure all faucets are tightly turned off and not leaking: A leaking faucet could waste up to 4,000 gal/year
Replace old faucets with new water-efficient models or install aerators to reduce flow
In the Kitchen
· Run dishwasher only when full
· Consider water use when purchasing a new dishwasher: New water and energy efficient models use 20% less water
· Defrost food in refrigerator instead of using running water: A running faucet uses about a gallon of water per minute
· Use a dishpan or plug the sink when hand-washing dishes
· Don’t pre-rinse dishes before loading into dishwasher
· Keep a container of water in the refrigerator rather than waiting for cold water from faucet
In the Bathroom
· Install low flow toilets or toilet dams
· Test all toilets regularly for leaks: A leaking toilet could waste up 100 gal/day
· Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket
· Replace old showerheads: Low flow showerheads can save 3 gal/min
· Take shorter showers
· Turn off water when shaving or brushing teeth
For detailed information on the drought evaluation go toww.mde.state.md.us/programs/Water/Drought Information