Monitoring Reports

During periods of drought, the Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP) helps manage the Washington metropolitan area water supply system by coordinating withdrawals from the Potomac River and off-river reservoirs and recommending releases from upstream reservoirs when forecasted flow in the river is not sufficient to meet expected needs. These needs include water demands and an environmental flow-by of 100 million gallons per day (MGD) on the Potomac River at Little Falls dam near Washington, D.C.

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Initiation of CO-OP daily drought monitoring - Daily Potomac flow and demand update (Tuesday 07/27/2021)

Today, CO-OP is initiating daily drought monitoring because Potomac River flow at the US Geological Survey’s gage at Point of Rocks, Maryland, has fallen below CO-OP's daily monitoring trigger of 2000 cfs. According to National Weather Service's (NWS) quantitative precipitation forecasts, a little over a 1/10 of an inch of rain is expected in the basin over the next 3 days.

CONCLUSION OF 2020 ANNUAL WMA DROUGHT EXERCISE - Afternoon Potomac flow and demand update (Wednesday 2020-11-18)

This concludes the 2020 Washington Metropolitan Area (WMA) drought exercise. A report describing exercise assumptions, activities, and tools will be prepared and made available on ICPRB's website in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your help in maintaining the reliability of the regional water supply system! Special thanks to WSSC Water staff for providing a tour of the Little Seneca Dam and to the Black Hill Regional Park for posting signs prior to the release.

We hope that the webinar on Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations by Hazen and Sawyer was informative.

THIRD DAY OF WMA DROUGHT EXERCISE: Daily Potomac flow and demand update (Wednesday 2020-11-18)

This is the third and last day of our 2020 Washington metropolitan area (WMA) annual drought exercise. Reported below are actual recent conditions and simulated drought operations.

Today we requested a simulated Little Seneca release of 22 MGD. This was based on the drought scenario and not yesterday’s actual release. We will provide analysis on the travel time of this test release in our report. You can follow the release at the USGS gage 01645000 SENECA CREEK AT DAWSONVILLE, MD here.

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RECENT CONDITIONS – ACTUAL

SECOND DAY OF WMA DROUGHT EXERCISE: Afternoon Potomac flow and demand update (Tuesday 2020-11-17)

An actual Little Seneca test release was initiated this morning at 10:00 AM. The planned release rate was 400 MGD, but during ramping up the release, it was found that the maximum possible rate is 275 MGD. You can follow the release at the USGS 01645000 SENECA CREEK AT DAWSONVILLE, MD here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?01645000.

FIRST DAY OF WMA DROUGHT EXERCISE: Afternoon Potomac flow and demand update (Monday 2020-11-16)

Our afternoon report appears below. Note that an ACTUAL test release from Little Seneca Reservoir has been approved by the CO-OP General Managers and is planned to be initiated tomorrow morning at 10 AM at a rate of 400 million gallons per day (MGD) and continued for 12 hours. Due to this release, flow in Seneca Creek will be elevated between approximately 10 AM on November 17 and 6 AM on November 18.

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RECENT CONDITIONS – ACTUAL

FIRST DAY OF WMA DROUGHT EXERCISE: Daily Potomac flow and demand update (Monday 2020-11-16)

Today is the first day of the 2020 Washington Metropolitan Area Drought Exercise, which will be conducted from Monday, November 16 through Wednesday, November 18.

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CONCLUSION OF THE DROUGHT EXERCISE - Afternoon simulated Potomac flow and demand update (Tuesday 10/11/2020) - DROUGHT EXERCISE

CONCLUSION OF THE DROUGHT EXERCISE - Afternoon simulated Potomac flow and demand update (Tuesday 10/11/2020) - DROUGHT EXERCISE

This afternoon email report concludes CO-OP's 2016 Washington Metropolitan Area Drought Exercise. We conduct these exercises every year to practice communications and operational procedures that would be used in case of actual low flow conditions in the Potomac River. Thank you all for helping us stay well prepared for drought!

ACTUAL - Basin and system conditions:

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