for 2002 from Maryland's four major tributaries to the Bay are 22 percent less than the average for
1985-2000. The flow deficit was greatly helped by the record November flow
on the Choptank River, which was 437 percent above average for that month.
Rainfall from September 2001 through 2002 at BWI
is 11.31 inches below normal despite getting 6.01 inches of
rain, nearly double the long-term October average, and above average
rainfall again in November and December.
The effects of the drought in 2002 can be seen in the large
amount of exposed bank seen in this Mt. Airy, Maryland pond.
In addition to the effects on humans, the
drought significantly affected the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and the plants
and animals that live in and rely on the bay. Salinity increased
significantly in some parts of the bay, potentially harming living
resources. For example, increases in salinity can kill some bay grass
species, allow oyster diseases to proliferate farther up the bay, reduce
the spawning area available to fish such as striped bass, and permit
salt-tolerant toxic or nuisance algae to bloom in new areas.
Each Marylander uses about 50 gallons of
water a day. Individual citizens can take many very easy voluntary water
conservation measures to reduce their water use. For example:
- fix leaky faucets and running toilets
- wash only full loads of dishes or
- sweep driveways rather than hosing them
- apply mulch to gardens and water them
only during the coolest part of the day
The Maryland Department of the
Environment's website is reporting:
"On December 18, 2002, Governor Parris N.
Glendening announced that he is lifting the drought emergency declaration
for the Eastern Shore and is relaxing water use restrictions that have
been in place in Central Maryland since April. The central region of
the State, which includes parts of Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel
counties served by the City of Baltimore's water system will now move from
Level Two to Level One water use restrictions. The overall status
for the southern and western regions of the State is "normal".
press release on the Governor's executive order."