Much of the Potomac River Basin in drought conditions

A map of the Potomac River Basin area shows sections of drought on the central and eastern end of the river.

Much of the Potomac River watershed is in moderate to severe drought situations at the moment, says the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.

Despite the low river levels, Hancock and Morgan County are not yet experiencing drought levels of dryness, and only the eastern end of the area are designated as “Abnormally Dry.”

An August 3 Potomac River Condition report finds that the river flows are low, with very little rain in the forecast to change that.

The Commission’s Section for Cooperative Water Supply on the Potomac started daily drought monitoring because river flow at Point of Rocks fell below 2,000 cubic feet per second – a trigger to watch river levels more closely.

Because so many residents live in the Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, the Commission maintains regular communication with water utilities in the Potomac River Basin when water supplies are lower.

“Having informed stakeholders helps everyone make good decisions about our water supply,” said Commission officials.

As of last Thursday, the Potomac River flow was 1,700 cubic feet per second. Median flow at this time is 2,770 cubic feet per second. According to weather data, the 90-day rainfall amount is 3.2 inches below average.